UC Berkeley made history when it established the very first collegiate meme page, UC Berkeley Memes For Edgy Teens. Started by Chris Tril in 2016, the meme page quickly gained popularity and inspired dozens of copycat meme pages at universities across the nation. What made UCBMFET so popular and beloved was that it was a beautiful collaborative project that brought together all corners of the campus.
But unfortunately, not everyone is so lucky to be a part of this experience. I myself recently submitted a meme to UCBMFET, expecting it to amass thousands of likes and reward me with clout and admiration. But in an absolutely tragic violation of human rights, my meme was “rejected” and my voice was silenced.
How sad is it that the university that is supposed to be the home of free speech has become a hostile environment that won’t let me make a joke? I am a UC Berkeley student and it should be my right to have my meme featured. My hilarious, hitting, OC meme was turned down whilst dozens of twitter screenshots that don’t even relate to our institution make the cut every day. To have my voice taken away is gut-wrenching. This is marginalization. Yes, marginalization at UC Berkeley in 2019.
In my darkest hour, I found hope in recently elected senator, Milton Zerman. Milton ran on a platform of defending free speech, and when I first learned my meme was rejected I held out hope that Milton would come to my rescue. I waited and waited for him to cyberbully the page’s admin into showcasing my commentary.
But so far Milton’s promise has been empty. It’s been weeks now and he has done nothing to uplift me or my memes. I thought he was interested in overreacting to white people’s imagined oppression. But alas, it appears his campaign misled me.
So now I turn to you, members of the student body. Have you ever had your meme rejected from UCBMFET? Was Milton there for you? Or did he remain silent? Let’s demand that our senators do more to protect and serve the student body. Let’s demand that Milton fulfill his campaign promise and honorably take this fight where it matters: a facebook comments section.
I’m waiting, Milton. What do you have to say for yourself?