New Academic Year, Same Old Racism

No HateAs has been the case every year since JBHE was founded in 1993 incidents of racial hate continue to plague the campuses of American higher education. In recent days, there have been several incidents at campuses across the United States.

At Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, the letters KKK and the word “Leave” followed by a racial slur were found painted on the side of a building on campus. James Smith, president of the university, issued a statement calling the vandalism “criminal” and “completely counter to the values and welcoming environment of our highly diverse community.” African Americans make up 19 percent of the 18,000-member undergraduate student body at Eastern Michigan University.

At American University in Washington, D.C., students held protests after a banana was thrown at an African American student on campus. Another Black student found a rotten banana outside of her dormitory room door and an obscene drawing was placed on the whiteboard attached to her door. Blacks make up 7 percent of all undergraduates at American University.

A student at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, was expelled after posting a racist message on social media. The message accompanied a picture of three African American professional football players conducting a protest during the playing of the national anthem. The caption read, “Piece of shit niggers. Everyone of them needs a damn bullet in their head.” The university issued a statement saying, “This is not free speech – this is hate speech.” Blacks are 5 percent of the undergraduate student body at the university.

At Ohio University in Athens, a mural with an African safari theme was painted on a wall by a group of local public school students. The mural was defaced with graffiti and the image of a human figure hanging from a tree. African Americans are 5 percent of the undergraduate student body at Ohio University.

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