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Black Power Rally Calls MSU White, Republican, and Privileged

Updated: Oct 14, 2020

"MSU refuses to accept 'the negative impact of their white,...heterosexual, Republican, and privileged ways.'"

Contributor: Grant Layle

A Black Power Rally at MSU “display[ed] black culture and...journey toward freedom,” cited MSU as a cage, and celebrated black pride.

Titled “When We See Us,” the rally condemned the n-word while using the n-word. A speaker stated MSU refuses to accept “the negative impact of their white,...heterosexual, Republican, and privileged ways.”

Hosted by the Black Student Alliance, the 47th annual rally drew hundreds of students to watch skits, musical performances, and speeches. The event was funded with over $30,000 from the student government, ASMSU.

Held in the Wharton Center, it centered and promoted black culture amidst obstacles.

Presenter Andrei Nichols received thunderous applause during his speech discussing racial discrimination committed on MSU's campus.

He said, "no matter how hard Michigan State University tries to cage us in, they have failed to realize you cannot keep captive what has already outgrown it's cage of oppressed living."

Nichols describes the social climate changing and instances where non-black students see black students, “they seem ‘too loud,’ ‘too ghetto,’ or ‘too black.’” He further said, “despite these negative connotations, we see excellence, we see culture.”

The presenters also brought up the recent incidents including alleged toilet paper nooses found on a dorm door and a survey containing several racial slurs. "Look at the school you have to go to. They let students hang up nooses, and they list a hate crime as a prank. Calling y'all n*****s and disgusting in a survey."

Despite the cited offense, the presenters made their own use of the n-word. The first scene of the acted sketch included the joke line "n***** are you high?" Another instance during a discussion on “our black sounds,” a presentation titled “Ebonics.”

Ebonics showcased several popular terms used to demonstrate a distinct language. The presenter, Bri Johnson claimed "the white man said you speaking slang, but clearly you're fooling me… Ebonics is the language our community speaks."

Coined by Robert Williams in 1973, the psychologist further created the “Black Intelligence Test of Cultural Homogeneity,” to measure familiarity and dissimilarity of blacks and whites.

Johnson explained the origins of Ebonics, accompanied by strong applause. “This is how blacks sound, the white man just don't want to let us… our language is the last thing we got, we can't let them finesse us."

The rally comes days after BSA published a demands list to the university, calling for more minority staff, mandated diversity programs, and validation of perceived bias.

Contributor: Grant Layle

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