Signs advertising an alt-right online forum were found on campus earlier this month. The forum gives users a platform to express controversial opinions. PHOTO COURTESY OF BRIAN SUAREZ

Flyers plastered across campus urging onlookers to “stop anti-white discrimination” have sparked debate about free speech and diversity at Stony Brook University.

Appearing in Melville Library as early as Oct. 11, these flyers — along with similar ones promoting the same alt-right ideology — contained a link to a server on online chat platform Discord.

Discord allows users to create and join servers, each with their own distinct voice, text channels and moderation tools. Early visitors to the “/sbu/” server were greeted by a variety of channels dedicated to different topics, including “soc” (social), “a-anime” (anime), “fit” (fitness) and “mus” (music).

Alt-right ideology and language was used most frequently by /sbu/’s team of moderators, who bear the label “Certified Uncucked.”  These users also have access to certain channels that are locked for everyone else on the server.

A great deal of the conversations on /sbu/ focus on the importance of allowing students to discuss controversial viewpoints as a means of free speech.

People have also used the server as a place to tout their own controversial ideas. There have been discussions on how “estrogenization” —  the idea that society is becoming more feminine — leads to culture wars. Overt uses of racism can be seen on several occasions.

In many instances, the decorum exhibited on /sbu/ mimics that of 4chan, an online discussion board platform that has become a popular gathering place for misogynists and white nationalists.

Bigoted language is common on the server. There is a clear neo-nazi presence as well. Certain users have posted the “three parentheses,” a signal used by neo-nazis across the internet to denote a Jewish person or something related to Jewish people. The avatar of one prominent member displays Nazi uniforms.

In total, the server has 67 registered users; however, aside from the assigned moderators, it appears that most of these people are one-time users who never returned.

“Personally, I was on the server out of sheer curiosity, it was shared so often on my social media networks… I was like, I have to check this out, what it’s about,”  said Fuad Faruque, a senior biology major and vice president of the Stony Brook College Republicans. “The majority of the people in the server were there because they were curious or they were against what was happening,” Faruque said, adding that many users signed on simply to combat the ideology the server was created to promote.

Despite this, with such divisive ideas being advertised on campus, Eric Olsen, assistant chief of police at the University Police Department, said he and his team are ready to take action if the situation becomes dangerous.

Our department takes all incidents classified as hate crimes very seriously, we conduct extensive investigations and make arrests when possible,” he said.  “Fostering an academic experience that is supportive and respectful of our differences and basic notions of civility is not only the responsibility of the Police Department, the entire campus bears the same responsibility in creating a community that does not tolerate a disrespectful or hateful environment and I think our university makes a great effort to do so.”  

While some may see the server as potentially malicious, sophomore computer science major Jeremy Ahn disagrees. “I decided to join because I really do understand that even though there are a lot of political views that are in the fringe, I believe that there’s a lot of opinions that are being suppressed and therefore building up in strength because of this suppression,” said Ahn, a self-described libertarian who visited the server at one point.

In contrast to their suggested mission of free speech and open communication, /sbu/’s moderators keep certain channels locked, preventing all other users from seeing them. With the exception of Ahn, the regular users of the server were all unwilling to have their names published.

Joseph Pierce, an assistant professor in the department of Hispanic languages & literature, said he has used the flyers as an avenue to discuss the meaning of diversity with his classes. “A person who feels threatened by diversity, because that word means a change in power structures, might feel justified in saying ‘Diversity is a threat to my existence’, and to a certain extent they’re right,” he said.  “Diversity in a sense does mean changing the power structures that allow whiteness as a category to predominate in politics and culture in the U.S.”

Even as diversity becomes a greater priority for Stony Brook’s administration, Associate Provost for Academic Success Richard Gatteau said that does not mean free speech is now at risk. “A key mission of higher education is to create and promote a marketplace of ideas, where we debate different viewpoints to gain greater understanding of critical issues facing us.  Such debate, when a healthy debate, allows us to share our passion, learn different perspectives, have more informed opinions, and make better decisions,” said Gatteau. “The challenge is when free speech becomes hate speech.”

Pierce argued that white nationalists and those who have given them a platform have debased the idea of free speech. “It’s often reported on as, somehow, one of a myriad of valid viewpoints that we have to take into consideration, when in reality that viewpoint is the extermination of people of color,” he said.  “When a white nationalist speaks and a person has to defend themselves, what they’re defending is not an intellectual position, it’s their very existence.”

  • Corpus_Innominata

    Obviously, acknowledging that relinquishment of this power is necessary
    for this country to move forward is more difficult for some who harbor
    irrational, hurtful, and hateful racist, tribal, and territorial views.

    I think the First Nations people would take issue with that. We should be respecting their tribal space but instead globalists and liberals dictate to them who can be on their reservations (see Kahnawake Mohawks).

  • Corpus_Innominata

    I would add to this the memorandum that when the students over at Towson University attempted to create a White Student Union like the other racial groups on campus their application was not only denied, they were physically assaulted by the student body and even received threats from the faculty!

    The double standards in academia have been a major problem for a long time now.

  • Uei6

    “In contrast to their suggested mission of free speech and open communication, /sbu/’s moderators keep certain channels locked, preventing all other users from seeing them.”

    This point is fallacious. Those channels are locked in order to ensure the privacy of our “uncucked” members, not to restrict the speech of anyone wanting to discuss our ideas. Anyone who follows the link is entered in the community /soc/ channel where the only way you can be silenced is being banned for spam. All other discussions are allowed and encouraged. These auxiliary channels are for casual conversation for the “uncucked” and by that nature contain personal information. We encourage anyone reading to join us and discuss there view.

    “When a white nationalist speaks and a person has to defend themselves, what they’re defending is not an intellectual position, it’s their very existence.”

    While personally I am not a white nationalist, I know enough about the ideology to say that this blanket statement is far from correct or even ethical. I can recall not one instance of someone in the server advocating for threatening the existence of a race, rather the group and the poster shown are fighting against the malicious actions contemporary society is talking against the existence of whites. Whether it be popular culture, higher education, or the platitudes of our politicians there is a clear anti-white movement that is being promoted. This idea of “defending” against speech is dangerous and appalling coming from a professor of a public institution, seeing that the positions within our group do not threaten anyone. This endorsement of violence by the intellectual elite of the education system is the exact reason why we formed this group. Our one goal is formulate the intellectual basis for the movement against liberalism and the continuing aggression against white identity and tradition. That is all, and if Professor Pierce has a defense of why that requires violent action against us I implore them to make their case further.

  • Thomas Hillgardner

    Former Statesman reporter here (1976-78). Very informative piece Mr. Scott. Mad props to assistant professor Joseph Pierce for his candor on the issue of political power. Multiculturalism is a direct threat on the hold on power that the white majority historically has possessed. Obviously, acknowledging that relinquishment of this power is necessary for this country to move forward is more difficult for some who harbor irrational, hurtful, and hateful racist, tribal, and territorial views. One would have thought such views to be outdated. But unfortunately race prejudice has has a long and ugly history in the world that, as the other comments here attest to, has not yet been extinguished. I’ve always felt that a college campus should be a place for robust debate of all ideas. But I really can’t blame people whose very existence is threatened by white supremacy if they acted to eliminate such speech.

  • (((Finkelstein)))

    Oh GAWD shut down the goyim! We must keep these whites in their place!

  • Shlomo Shekelgrabber

    We get it. You hate white people.