Central Michigan community mobilizes against racist message

After a racist message was found scribbled on a college dormitory whiteboard in Sweeney Hall at Central Michigan University, the campus community quickly mobilized to speak out against the hate speech and add messages love and support instead.

Sophomore Yasmeen Duncan from Detroit shared a photo of the ugly post on Twitter late Wednesday. Riddled with profanity, the writer cursed the residents of the room, calling them “black whore monkeys”.

On Twitter, Duncan added that she and her roommates were all black women and filed a police report in response.

The Free Press contacted Duncan for more information.

A day after the incident, CMU President Bob Davies shared a campus-wide statement denouncing the “hateful remarks” and apologizing to students, their families and friends.

“This is an attack not only on three young women of color, it is an attack on all of us. All over CMU. All over Mount Pleasant,” Davies noted.

“I assure you that racism, misogyny, bigotry and hatred will not be tolerated on this campus. Many leaders, offices and teams on campus are involved in the investigation, determining our next steps and supporting to those affected and to our entire university community. “

Davies’ statement urged anyone with information about the incident to contact CMU’s Office of Civil Rights and Institutional Equity at [email protected] or 989-774-3253, and shared the information. on a number of other campus resources for assistance.

“We have to do better. We have to lead. We will lead,” Davies added.

The NAACP section of the CMU campus tweeted its intention to hold a press conference and rally outside Sweeney Hall regarding the incident with other multicultural organizations on Thursday evening.

According to CMLife, the NAACP chapter was joined by the Black Student Union campus and Collective Action for Cultural Unity. These groups joined with NAACP Chapter President Australyah Coleman in demanding that cameras be placed and used in hallways of halls of residence, that students be required to take a cultural course, mandatory race training, and ethnicity for the campus community and a public apology from respondents. officer.

“At this point CMU is doing its best to remedy the current situation, and I think our student body has been heard,” Coleman told Free Press in an email Friday.

The Free Press has contacted the university to ask if these demands will be met.

AT Miller, the university’s vice president and head of diversity, told Free Press that the ongoing investigation into the incident is being conducted by the Office of Civil Rights and Institutional Fairness and “is moving forward. agressive”.

“Any substantive findings from this investigation would be passed to the student conduct council to determine penalties,” Miller said. “Today, a healthy and open dialogue took place over lunchtime and a number of other conversations are moving forward after the impressive display of unity and solidarity from last night’s rally … We are very proud of our active and engaged students, faculty and staff as they continue to work to embrace and maintain our community values, even in the face of such a hateful message. ”

CMLife shared images of the same post-it-covered door on Thursday with words of love and support.

“Thank you to all of my fellow residents of Sweeney for all the support. We love you”, Duncan tweeted.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect a correction in the Central Michigan University student journal, Central Michigan Life. The name of the Black Student Union, one of the groups identified as having joined the campus rally on Thursday, has been misstated.

Contact Aleanna Siacon: [email protected] Follow her on Twitter: @AleannaSiacon.

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