Multicultural Leadership Board postpones perplexing event

Staff Editorial

Last week, flyers for an event called “Eggs on the Neg’s” perplexed the St. Edward’s community.

“Egg’s on the Neg’s” was a St. Edward’s University Multicultural Leadership Board (MLB) sponsored event that was to take place on Oct. 11 on the Ragsdale lawn. MLB is a chartered student organization within St. Edward’s Student Life.

According to the event’s now-defunct Facebook page, the event planned to “discuss and analyze the different words that have become normalized by society despite having negative connotations.” Some of these words included, gay, queer, bitch and the n-word, according to the event description on the St. Edward’s calendar site.

On Oct. 10, one day before the scheduled event, Student Life posted a status update on their Facebook page explaining that “Eggs on the Neg’s” was “postponed until further notice.”

The event was met with a considerable amount of criticism from students before it was set to happen, especially on its Facebook page.

The purpose of the event was not clearly stated, which was one cause for criticism. The brief explanation of “discussing and analyzing” words did not give a clear representation of what the event would entail. Some might have thought “Egg’s on the Neg’s” was a type of lecture or an open assembly where ideas could be exchanged. Students struggled to understand what the event was.

The event flyers posted around campus did little to clarify its purpose. They failed to convey the intent of the event. Aside from the date and place, the only information the flyer gave was a poem that said, “smash and trash what has been said, rip the negative words to shreds.” The egg graphics on the poster were perplexing with the lack of an actual description of the event. The vague flyers made people question the credibility of the event.

If “Egg’s on the Neg’s” actually occurred, students would have thrown eggs at posters with words like “retarded” or “queer” on them. No discussion or exchange of ideas would have occurred.

Throwing eggs at posters is not an act of empowerment, nor is it a way to foster productive discussion. In fact, it is more like a carnival event. Such an activity would trivialize the oppression of different communities. If students walking past the Ragsdale lawn saw this event, they would have difficulty telling what was going on. Thus, the message would be lost.

Furthermore, some of the stigmatized words, like “gay,” are not actually offensive when taken out of an offensive context. Thus, throwing eggs at these words could send the opposite message than intended. The violent act of throwing an egg at a word that is already stigmatized sends an unnecessarily violent message.

“Eggs on the Neg’s” seems like a sensational version of a noble cause. Instead of actually fostering discussion or analyzing oppressive language, it would capitalize on the oppression of minority communities. MLB may be a small group of people, but they are working to represent a distinct portion of the St. Edward’s student body, and the “Eggs on the Neg’s” event would not have represented minorities appropriately.

The event was cancelled for reasons unknown, but the fact that it was ever planned raises concerns. According to their website, MLB hope to “facilitate productive dialogue,” but throwing eggs at posters does not encourage proper discourse.

“Eggs on the Neg’s” could have been an academic panel. Surely St. Edward’s has resources that could have turned this event into a beneficial program for the community. Because the problematic event was postponed indefinitely, the St. Edward’s community does not get any of the possible benefits of a “productive dialogue.”