A Rhodes College student faced backlash last week after he posted an opinion piece on an alt-right website that the college president called a "hate-filled essay."
In the post published last Wednesday on AltRight.com, Nick Pietrangelo identified himself as a Rhodes student and ridiculed a statement by a group of his peers on their support for those impacted by the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
"We, the undersigned student leaders at Rhodes College, are deeply disturbed by the Department of Justice's announcement that DACA will be suspended," said the campus-wide email. "Aside from the estimated fiscal impact of this decision, there is also a deeply personal impact."
The letter was signed by the Rhodes' senior class president and was supported by a number of leaders from other campus organizations like the Panhellenic Council, the Gender & Sexuality Alliance, the Black Student Association, and more.
Pietrangelo, a graduate of Christian Brothers High School and former Rhodes soccer player, wrote that the letter is "silly" and "incredibly stupid." He added that DACA is an illegal and unconstitutional program. He asked, "what makes these 'Dreamers' so special that they don't have to follow the laws of the land just as American citizens have to?"
This "special treatment," Pietrangelo said, is the exact opposite of American values, continuing that "America is for AMERICANS."
- The piece took aim at DACA students.
He said those who are in violation of the law should be punished and "not coddled and rewarded [which is] almost always at the expense of white citizens."
He proposed that institutions like Rhodes should not show compassion or concern for the struggles of "criminals, fags and transgenders, girls who get knocked up and then regret it, and Black Lives Matter thugs." Instead, they should express "outrage at such heinous acts like abortion, Islamic terrorism, sodomy, or White Genocide."
Pietrangelo wrapped up his post yearning for a society free of minorities.
"Like the media, the Millennials and social justice warriors will always posture and cry crocodile tears over issues like the DACA announcement. ..." he said. "Millions of normal and hard-working White folks don't give a damn about these 'Dreamers' and instead harbor their own dreams of a society with free Whites, free of the troublesome burden of minorities. And one way or another, we will get what we want. Never forget that."
Rhodes' president Marjorie Hass sent a disapproving statement to the school's community Friday.
"In my view, a good way to respond to bigoted or racist speech is with a vigorous reaffirmation of our positive values," Hass said.
She encouraged students to read the school's statement of vision and diversity, which says Rhodes is committed to being a "community where diversity is valued and welcomed" and that the school will "not tolerate harassment or discrimination."
Hass said the school's commitment to diversity and inclusion remains "untouched and unbent."
Regarding disciplinary action toward Pietrangelo, Rhodes' director of communications Matt Gerien said the school cannot comment on student disciplinary matters.