Blackface forum, shirts work against progress

It all hit me Monday morning .
I was sitting in Grounds for Change, when a student walked into the coffee shop wearing the infamous “Blackface?! F*** No!” t-shirt.
I was well aware of the discussions on race that were happening on campus.
I knew the Association for the Advancement of Black Culture sponsored the t-shirt that the student was wearing.
I knew of the situation that sparked these discussions.
The t-shirt greatly offended and appalled me to no end.
For one thing, the shirts themselves turned people away from addressing the issue.
In a time that called for professionalism and civility from all involved, the shirts were unprofessional and vulgar.
Displaying a profanity on your chest does not make someone who might otherwise want to learn more about the issue feel welcome to ask questions.
It inhibits discussion.
It does not encourage it.
The shirts turned me away and left me apathetic until Monday morning, when it was shoved in my face.
On top of this, ABC blew the whole situation out of proportion.
The forum itself gave me a negative impression.
One might expect such a discussion to be held in a room in the Campus Center; to hold the forum in the lobby comes off as desperate because it forces people to pay attention.
Instead of providing an opportunity for discussion for those interested, the public setting turned people away.
It seemed less like a civilized discussion and more like a cry for attention and sympathy.
Vulgarity should not be associated with Allegheny.
I cannot fathom how a student here can wear a name tag with Bentley Hall on it next to a shirt that exclaims “F*** No!”
I thought we were moving more towards civility, not away from it.