While February served as Black History Month and a time for Black American’s to celebrate their history, there have been many instances recently that show how much farther the country has to go before racism is eradicated.
Students rallied together last Friday in protest of a noose that was hanging in a campus library at the University of California.
With red handkerchiefs covering their mouths, they stormed the chancellor’s office and blocked the doors of entry to Chancellor Marye Anne Fox’s office while students within the offices chanted “real pain, real change.”
Reports say that the noose was found hanging the previous day and students have come forward to speak on behalf of the Black community within the campus, which is less than 2 percent, feelings that it is an example of intolerance on campus.
“How am I supposed to walk into that building? How am I ever going to be safe there?” said ethnic studies major Cheyenne Stevens, who is black.
A statement was released by the University revealing that a student admitted that she was responsible for the deed, along with two others, but it has not been determined what her race is or what was her motive behind such a heinous act.
“Whatever the intent of the authors of this act, it was a despicable expression of racial hatred, and we are outraged,” the UC statement said. “It has no place in civilized society, and it will not be tolerated.”
There has yet to word on whether or not the students will be charged with a hate crime. Under state law, such an act is punishable by up to a year in prison.
Already in hot water for the “Compton Cookout” party where students dressed as Black stereotypes, the campus is surely under fire for all of these racially driven acts.
Trying to promote awareness, administration held a “teach-in” against intolerance last Wednesday and demanded that were was more effort to diffuse racism.
Some students, however, feel as though all of this action is being taken out of proportion and accusing the Black Student Union of using this scenario as a means to push demands for more Black professors and receive funding for ethnic studies.
No matter how far the country may believe it has come, it is sad to know that the United States is very far from unity and acceptance of diversity. It almost seems hypocritical that people are so willing to embrace the ills of Haiti and every other country, but are unable to tolerate citizens they live with.