A College Student Attacked For Her Views

Before any of you ask, no, it was not me who was attacked. This came from a colleague of mine at Campus Reform. Lela Gallery was bullied and harassed for posting a "controversial" statement. I asked Lela if she'd be interested in doing an interview with me to discuss this incident, and she agreed. Here's our conversation.

Question: "Give us a quick introduction about who you are."
"My name is Lela Gallery. I'm from Phoenix, Arizona. I go to Mount Holyoke College, which is in western Massachusetts. It's a women's college, but we can't call it a women's college, and saying it right now could get me in trouble. Not everyone at that school is a woman, but then it gets complicated because everyone there believes there isn't 2 sexes, there's a multitude of genders. But that's a story for another time. The school I go to is very social justice. It's one of the most liberal schools in the country. I believe it's ranked #7 in the most liberal colleges, to give you an idea. As for my major, I'm currently undecided. I'm leaning towards studying politics and philosophy. On the side, I'm a correspondent for Campus Reform, and I'm a contributor for Lone Conservative. But that's essentially me!"

Question: "Tell me about your experience regarding your 'controversial' post."
"After the first Presidential debate, I decided to post on my Instagram story, 'If you support Trump, you are my friend. If you support Biden, you are my friend. If you feel the need to degrade those who feel differently than you, maybe we aren't friends.' I thought it wasn't that controversial, but because of that post, I got so much harassment. I was harassed, I was threatened. I couldn't believe it. I got so much negative responses from this. People were responding to it, saying things like, 'He [Trump] wants to take away my rights,' 'He doesn't want to condemn white supremacy.' I wish I would've been smarter and not responded. I thought this could've a good opportunity to have some dialogue, despite people attacking me. I tried to engage with them, but they didn't want to have a conversation. They just wanted to catch me, to then complain about me. One girl responded to me, then went and talked about me to her friends, who then went and messaged me. There's a group at my school called BIPOC at Mount Holyoke, which stands for Black Indigenous People of Color, and these accounts popped up during the summer. It was created as a confessional to denounce racism, but it's usually not racism. It's Zionists or anyone who leans slightly right. That evening there was a post about me. It got so much support, and the people commenting said things I told them. And I almost forgot, the people who were responding to me were saying such horrible things about Trump supporters. These people were making fun of my looks, telling me I should leave my school and go to Liberty University, making fun of my conservative identity and me personally. It was just, not fun."

Question: "Can you give me examples of the hate you got? Like an example of what was said to you?"
Answer: "Most of it was about my looks, my hair, my conservative views, and that I needed to leave the school.

Question: "Why do you think this caused such problems for others?"
Answer: "I think part of it was because people think Trump didn't full blown denounce white supremacy during the first Presidential debates. And even him bringing up the Proud Boys was apparently 'unpopular.' I think it was also ignorance. These people don't understand why people support Donald Trump. On top of that, there's a lot of activists who go to my school. If you go against their narrative, you're in big trouble."

Question: "Have you received any positive feedback regarding your post?"
Answer: "I did get some positive feedback. There were some who agreed with me, and said 'Yes, we need more of this attitude,' but it was very little."

Question: "Did you take this up with your university? Have they responded to this concern?"
Answer: "Yes, I did. I took it up with my school's administration, with the campus police, and many of them 
sympathized with me, but they basically did nothing. Since it was over social media, and it's hard to navigate, and these students were off campus, so the school couldn't get more involved than saying, 'Don't talk like that to her.' And this didn't help. After the whole thing the school did blew up, I went to Campus Reform. Campus Reform wrote a story about what happened to me, which caused more backlash to happen. BIPOC made two more posts about me. For a while, people were quiet regarding the controversy. Once that Campus Reform article came out, they went after me again. Most of them blocked me, or made public posts about me. This time around, I did get more support and sympathy. So that was nice.

Question: "How were you able to handle the hate from your peers and random people online?"
Answer: "I laugh it off. You have to mock it, or it will get to you. That's the best thing I can tell someone. Just laugh it off. Another thing that helps is reaching out to other people. I got a lot of messages from people who said, 'If you need to talk, I'm here.' I think that also helps."

Question: "Were you worried cancel culture would have destroyed your life, like it has for many others?"
"Definitely! I think it was a disaster waiting to happen. From what I understand, people did know I am a Republican before this whole thing started. I think people were waiting for me to do something that could have political repercussions, so they could reprimand me or cancel me."

Question: "Many students go through what you go through, in terms of harassment/bullying due to their conservative beliefs. What advice do you have for them?"
Answer: "I would say find people who are like-minded. Not just people who are like-minded in the sense that they're a Republican or they support Trump, but the people who look at cancel culture or the craziness of the far Left and think 'What the hell is going on?' These people will have your back, and will support you. Find a network who will be there for you. Also, don't apologize. It's only going to make things worse for you. Don't respond to any of the incendiaries. That will make things also worse for you. People aren't looking for an explanation from you; they're looking for blood. Don't give it to them. Don't show them you're hurt by what they say. Obviously, if you are hurt, that's totally normal. Be the better person. And always laugh it off.

I have even shared the "controversial" statement on my social media, and received nothing but love from both liberals and conservatives. Lela, unfortunately, received major backlash. Students threatening her with violence, making fun of her appearances, etc. I can't imagine what that was like. I'm just glad she was able to persevere. Hope you guys liked this interview! Comment your thoughts!

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