Students of Occidental College celebrated the destruction of a 9/11 memorial on their campus because they felt that the American flag was “triggering” as well as a symbol of “oppression.”
Students at the college, destroyed, broke and threw out hundreds of American flags that were placed in the ground in honor of the 2,996 Americans that died during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack.
Students of CODE said that the American flags are nationalist symbols that were causing students distress.
“As students of color, this symbol of the American flag is particularly triggering for many different reasons,” the group wrote. “For us, this flag is a symbol of institutionalized violence (genocide, rape, slavery, colonialism, etc.) against people of color, domestically as well as globally. Additionally, if the goal of the memorial is to commemorate the lives lost during 9/11, the singular nature of the American flag fails to account for the diversity of lives lost on that day.”
“Historically, the American flag and subsequent American nationalist symbols, have been polarizing and marginalizing to people of color living within the United States,” the group continued. “This has been most recently exemplified in Colin Kaepernick’s protest of the American national anthem.”
“When this institution allows thousands of American flags to be placed in the center of campus it speaks volumes to the students that have lived their lives under the oppression of this flag,” the message read.
School officials are still investigating the incident and said that they will take disciplinary action against those that destroyed the memorial.
After the flags were destroyed and thrown out, the people who vandalized the memorial put up posters that read:
“R.I.P the 2,996 Americans who died in 9/11. R.I.P the 1,455,590 innocent Iraqis who died during the U.S. invasion for something they didn’t do.”
According to the message, Code says that Muslim students were greatly affected after 9/11.
“It is extremely important to note that Eid al-Adha begins on September 11 this year,” the message said, referring to the Muslim holiday. “Placing these flags on this day shows a complete lack of thought, care or understanding of the students that are still living with the rising Islamophobia in the aftermath of 9/11.”