MSU Student gov Trying to Obtain Warrants, FREE Black Power Rally Demanded After Racist Events
Updated: Oct 14, 2020
“White people don’t have to worry about race relations because they’re all majorly white.”
Contributor: John J. Binkowski II
A recent forum held by the Black Student Alliance (BSA) on racist activities featured strong calls for action and change.
Calls include the student government “working to obtain warrants,” for individuals who made alleged racist and racist remarks in an “Ask President Stanley” forum with MSU’s President the previous day. In addition, calls for mandated diversity classes and a free Black Power Rally.
An attendee asked the student government president, Mario Kakos, how those responsible for racist comments at the “Ask President Stanley '' forum will be held accountable. Kakos replied, “We’re searching for IP addresses and working to obtain warrants to hold those responsible accountable for their actions.”
These comments were made through “Slido,” an online questionnaire used at the forum. Such comments include: “Most questions being asked by black students...are dumb as hell and unproductive,” and “Go work on that black retention rate so pres. Stan can focus on posting those results.”
Posted anonymously by a user labeled 'Complaints,' they further stated “they really thought the Pres was going to listen...black people only a small portion of the population. You can all leave and no one will notice.”
The student government, the Associated Students of Michigan State University (ASMSU), released a statement saying “if you believe in any of the racist comments expressed, you have no place in ASMSU.”
They further took “full accountability for not fully protecting black students.” Within their statement, ASMSU did not cite any comments.
BSA’s forum filled the Brody Auditorium with many people, most of whom were members of BSA. Attendees showed their disgust at the alleged racist and racist comments and activities on the campus.
The event began with BSA President Sharon Reed-Davis giving a brief introduction and quickly dove into a timeline of racist acts over the past five years.
A breakdown of BSA’s timeline is listed below:
2016 - MSU student calls black high school student a gorilla, Molly Muck gorilla incident
2017 - Shoelace Noose; black students discover noose made out of shoelace in residence hall
2018 - MSU student posts racist slurs on social media; Jillian Kirk
2019 - Toilet paper noose incident and racist survey; noose is written off as a Halloween prank, MSU professor sends out the racist survey, which was reported by The Morning Watch
2020 - Wharton Center gift shop depicts prominent African American figures hanging from trees.
Davis said, “Nothing ever happens when racist things happen to black students.” She then began reading some of the alleged racist and racist comments posted via the anonymous tip-line.
A comment posted anonymously, but reposted on Twitter by BSA Campus Liaison, Richard Winston (@Rwin__) read, “Pres. Stanley can’t do nothing! Racist will always be racist. Negros is freedom of speech. Nobody uses nooses no more that’s why we have our officers.”
MSU doesn’t have a “magic bullet” to stop racism occurring on campus, claimed President of Alpha Phi Alpha, Zeta Delta Chapter, Andrei Nichols II. “We can’t force a white person to learn about and appreciate black culture.”
Nichols demanded a statement to be made by administrators at the Wharton Center in response to their recent gift shop display. In addition, hosting the annual BSA “Black Power Rally” free of charge at the Wharton.
A space in the Wharton Center typically runs several thousand dollars.
A student asked, “How can diversity training help & protect black students going forward?” Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer of ASMSU Miracle Chatman replied, “Resources like OIE (The Office of Institutional Equity) are there for the students to utilize regarding civil rights issues. Though OIE is flawed, it’s an avenue for students to take.”
BSA President interjected, “We must be able to educate those in order to hold people accountable.”
A student in the audience mentioned training comparable to SARV (Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence), a mandatory workshop focused on preventing sexual assault and domestic violence on campus. They further suggested a prerequisite Race & Ethnicity course (SOC215) to aid students on being informed in issues black students face every day.
Another student commented, “white people don’t have to worry about race relations because they’re all majorly white.”
Graduate student Natasha Atkinson interjected, “Anything that could have happened probably has happened.” This began a discussion to engage in challenging those within the administration to create real change. “We need to put pressure on those in charge,” Atkinson added.
Edwin Jaramillo, president of Culturas de las Razas, a Latino organization at MSU, talked briefly about a quarterly meeting with Pres. Stanley.
Jaramillo spoke on racism and white students, bringing up white privilege. “It’s a privilege to have the ability to learn about racism and not have to go through it.”
Another student proceeded, “It’s white supremacy, it’s the world in which we live.”
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