Controversy erupted Sunday when screenshots from Student Body President candidate Dwayne O’Rear’s Facebook profile and Twitter account, dating from 2010 to Feb. 2013, were unearthed and shared on Reddit and other social media outlets. Now, we know our SBP candidate is homophobic, Islamophobic, sexist and in our opinion, ignorant and unsupportably prejudiced.
In Nov. 2010, O’Rear saw two gay people embracing each other and kissing in the Brickyard, which he posted on Facebook about, exclaiming, “helllllllllll no!!!” He also once offered advice “to the cute girls always with the gay guy: get yourself a real man.” In April 2011, he stated President Barack Obama is a Muslim, Islam is a “false religion” and no one likes Muslims. On this same Facebook post, he called another commenter with a Muslim name a “raghead” and told him to “go blow yourself up like your cousins do lmfao!” Last month, he tweeted during an N.C. State basketball game, “Why is there a female commentator covering our game @espn?”
O’Rear, in an interview with Technician, denied making all of these hateful statements, apart from the one about two gay people kissing. He said his Facebook “was like a community Facebook,” and that someone else had the entire hour-long exchange about Obama and Muslims without his knowledge — in fact, he didn’t even know about the post until yesterday. He said the basketball game tweet — which he knew about and consciously did not remove — was made by a friend who had his cell phone … which he claims does not have a security lock. As for the status about the gay couple kissing, he says he has grown since his freshman year and now supports gay marriage … despite having made pro-Amendment One statements as Student Senate Liaison for Chandler Thompson and having posted a pro-Amendment One video on his Facebook last year.
But then, as he said to vindicate himself of some other homophobic and sexist statuses, “[his] Facebook isn’t really [his] own” and other people have his password and sometimes use it.
We at Technician believe O’Rear’s “explanations” are wild fabrications.
This may come as news to O’Rear, but our university is home to GLBT people, Muslims and — brace yourself Dwayne, we know this is flabbergasting — women. It is an insult to these groups, and to everyone who regards them as meriting respect and dignity like any other peoples, that Dwayne O’Rear should consider himself worthy of representing the North Carolina State University student body.
The attitudes and views O’Rear espouses — or “once” did — are ignorant and morally questionable. Barack Obama is as Muslim as Dwayne O’Rear is Irish. Across-the-board animosity against Muslims is as justified as across-the-board animosity against Christians. Discrimination against the GLBT community today is as justified as the discrimination against African Americans during the Jim Crow era. And if O’Rear thinks women aren’t qualified to give sports commentary, then Lauryn Collier may want to ask him whether he thinks she can run for SBP.
Dwayne O’Rear, with his outdated and benighted beliefs, will be an insult to N.C. State’s student body if he gets elected. With the uproar that has been generated in the past day, Technician trusts the N.C. State student body to not elect him as SBP.
However, we also believe the right thing for him to do would be to own up to his dogma and accept it as being unsuitable to carry into the Student Body Presidency at N.C. State. This is an institution which stands for tolerance and compassion, which O’Rear’s comments apparently do not. If O’Rear has any respect for his own dignity and the sentiments of those he has endeavored to represent, he should withdraw from the SBP race.
To quote O’Rear, it’s not that he can’t ever be worthy of representing N.C. State’s student body — however, “[his] beliefs just need to be worked on a little.”