Iowa’s journalism school director: Follow Europe’s lead on ‘free’ speech

Serhat Tanyolacar, an artist and visiting assistant professor at the University of Iowa, erected a display at the school’s “Pentacrest” depicting coverage of over a century’s worth of “racial tensions, riots, and killings.”

The display was a large Ku Klux Klan effigy with headlines and newspaper articles all over it.

Professor Tanyolacar says that the display “was meant to highlight how America’s history of race-based violence isn’t really history and ‘facilitate a dialogue.’”

However, university officials removed the display because it was “deeply offensive” to “members of the community.”

Iowa issued a statement to all students and staff which said “The University of Iowa considers all forms of racism abhorrent and is deeply committed to the principles of inclusion and acceptance.” College President Sally Mason shared the following:

The goal of the University of Iowa, as a higher-education institution, has always been to provide an environment where all members of our campus community feel safe and Friday, we failed. On the morning of December 5, 2014, a 7-foot tall Ku Klux Klan effigy with a camera affixed to the display was installed without permission on our campus. The effects of the display were felt throughout the Iowa City community. That display immediately caused Black students and community members to feel terrorized and to fear for their safety.