If you have been keeping up with Twitter this week, you have probably heard of the multiple racial incidents that have taken place at certain universities. Twitter has become a major outlet for news because of its convenience. This week, hashtags such as #Mizzou, #concernedstudent1950, and #blackoncampus have been trending.
The University of Missouri campus has been a place of protest for months. Racial tensions are at an all-time high and have led to a series of events at the school including racial slurs against their student body president, their football team’s strike, the resignation of their president, and the presence of swastikas made of human feces. But it is the most recent incident that had students on edge; death threats specifically targeted towards African Americans were posted on a popular app called Yik Yak. This app allows for users to stay anonymous throughout their posting. Since then students have been afraid to attend classes, one student stated that “We’re waking up everyday going to a campus where we don’t feel
Within the past week, Missouri hasn’t been the only school to receive racial threats, universities such as Yale, Howard, and Ithaca were also threatened.
University of Maryland students gathered around the new Fredrick Douglas memorial on Tuesday, wearing all black, to stand in solidarity with the students from the previously mentioned universities. There were group speakers, and brief pictures.
“We need to show the world that we stand behind Ithaca, Missouri, and Yale in this time of solidarity. Letting them know that we can’t ignore things like this and just let them slide like it’s nothing. We need to show them the difference between freedom of speech and freedom of consequence,” said Hannah Benzion, junior GIS major.
It is reported that over thirty universities have stood in solidarity with Mizzou.
When asked her opinion of why she thought this stand for solidarity was important, Tonie Johnstone replied, “I feel like it was a beginning to us as POC putting our foot down on this campus.”
“We’ve been pushed around for so long and accepted the short end of the stick for so long and this is only the start. I feel it’s important to attend so because we [people of color] as a group need to understand that we are not alone,” Johnstone said. “Sometimes it’s easy to overlook how we feel and what we think because we think we are either alone or we are too small of a community to make a difference but this is not true in the least bit. It’s also a way to open your eyes to what’s going on in our community because there are people who are ignorant to what it’s like to be a person of color.”