those that don’t treat you right won’t teach you right
Cornell University has placed the Sigma Pi fraternity on interim suspension pending an investigation of a racial incident. According to police, people on the roof of the fraternity house threw bottles and other objects and taunted a group of Black students who were walking by the house with racial insults. A fraternity spokesperson said that it had identified one perpetrator and that the person was not a member of the fraternity. One of the Black students told police that it was difficult to determine how many people were involved but she added that other people on the roof appeared to be encouraging the behavior and did nothing to stop it.
Susan H. Murphy, vice president for student and academic services, issued a statement which read:
“There is no place for this kind of behavior at Cornell University; we celebrate our diversity and expect all our members to respect one another. My colleagues and I regret that this happened at all, and call on every Cornellian to support each other and most especially the members of our community most affected by this incident. Once we have completed a review of the incident, including who was involved, appropriate action will be taken and we will notify the community when that happens.”
Two nooses were found on the campus of the University of West Florida in Pensacola. One was found last Saturday and a second noose was found on Monday.
Judith Bense, president of the university, issued a statement which read, in part, “This speech is repugnant to university ideals. The university strives to create and maintain a community that is free of harassment, intimidation and/or humiliation for all students, faculty and staff. This matter is very serious. I hope you will all join me in open, honest dialogue and mutual respect for our fellow students and colleagues.”
The United States Department of Justice and the United States Department of Education have announced that they have resolved an investigation of racial harassment directed against African Americans on the campus of the University of California at San Diego.
Complaints alleged multiple incidents of racial harassment on campus including public displays of nooses and a hood from a Ku Klux Klan uniform.
The university voluntarily agreed to take steps to prevent future acts of racial harassment, to eliminate any hostile racial environments on campus, and to respond appropriately when incidents of harassment occur in the future. The university agreed to maintain an Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination and to provide mandatory training for staff and students on the university’s anti-discrimination policies and procedures.
“Students have a right to seek and obtain an education without facing racial harassment,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. “UCSD, like all colleges and universities, has an obligation to make clear that racial discrimination and harassment on campus will not be tolerated, and this agreement is a significant step in the right direction.”
An uproar occurred on the campus of the University of Texas when the student newspaper the Daily Texan published a cartoon this past Tuesday relating to the killing of Trayvon Martin in Florida. The cartoon shows a woman on a chair that is labeled, “The Media.” She is reading a book to a child with the title, Treyvon Martin and the Case of Yellow Journalism. The woman is quoted as reading, “And then, the big bad white man killed the handsome, sweet, innocent, colored boy.”
Two Black women students at the University of Wisconsin reported that they were subjected to racial slurs as they walked past a fraternity house near campus. The women were taunted by men who were partying on the porch of the fraternity house. A glass bottle was thrown at the women but no one was hurt.
The university placed the chapter of Delta Upsilon fraternity on emergency suspension until an investigation of the incident is completed. The fraternity recently had been on “alcohol probation” after an incident of underage drinking last fall.
This past weekend members of the Youth for Western Civilization were alleged to have written messages in chalk at several places on the campus of Towson University in Maryland. The messages read, “White Pride.”
A forum was held on campus to discuss the incidents. Here is a video news report on the forum.
A photo of the late Cornell Bell hangs in the lobby of the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University. Bell was a professor who led Purdue’s Business Opportunity Program for more than 37 years. He retired in 2006 and died in 2009.
Last week, a visiting alumnus discovered that a large “X” was found written in marker over Bell’s photograph and a racial slur was written above his name.
France A. Córdova, president of Purdue University, issued a statement that read, “We deplore the act of racial vandalism that occurred recently in our Krannert Building. It is offensive, shocking and wholly out of character with our values and goals of inclusion and mutual respect. This incident cannot and will not define us as people or as an institution.”
Three hate crimes have been reported on the campus of the University of Wisconsin Parkside in Kenosah over the past several days.
On Wednesday, a noose made of rubber bands hanging in a common area of a dormitory was found by a Black woman student. After the woman reported the incident to university authorities, the next day she received a racially charged note that was left near the door of her dormitory room, accompanied by a second noose.
Later that night, fliers were found at the residence hall. The fliers contained threatening messages directed at particular Black students, racial slurs, and warnings that the Black students would be killed.
The university police department called in seven sheriff’s department detectives to aid them in the investigation.
“At the University of Wisconsin-Parkside we’re proud of the diverse living and learning environment the campus offers our students, faculty, staff, and the communities we serve,” said Chancellor Deborah Ford. “The type of behavior displayed by a very small number of people is not tolerated and will not be tolerated here.”
Update: The fliers threatening Black students were later found to be a hoax. A student admitted that she created the fliers because she was displeased about the university’s response to the initial incidents.
Jan 18, 2012: The University of Cincinnati Mounts an Online Program to Combat Racial and Sexual Harassment
The University of Cincinnati is requiring all faculty and staff to complete an online training program on racial and sexual harassment. Students are also being asked to participate in the training program. There are four tracks for different campus constituencies: faculty, staff, students, and supervisors.
George Wharton, director of the equal opportunity office at the University of Cincinnati, says that the program “is formatted to encourage awareness and prevention of harassment and discrimination. The program outlines current law on harassment and includes examples to illustrate words and behaviors that might reasonably be regarded as discriminatory.”
At the conclusion of the online training session, the viewer will be given a 15 question test to certify that they have mastered the course material. If they fail the test, they can retake the program again until they pass.
Last month the Missouri State University Pride Band was asked to perform at the dedication of a public park in downtown Springfield. During its performance the band played the song “Dixie.” In 1906, three African American men were lynched in the same location.
The president of the local chapter of the NAACP lodged a protest with the university’s interim president, Clif Smart. President Smart issued a quick apology and stated that the song will not be played by the band in any public venue in the future.
Wes Pratt, an equal opportunity official at Missouri State told the Springfield News-Leader, the song “was not appropriate, certainly not on the public square with the history. It’s an indication of lack of cultural competence, which we must continue to work on to improve at Missouri State and in the community.”
Dec 04, 2011: Historically Black University Settles Race Discrimination Lawsuit With White Football Coach
Robby Wells, former head football coach at Savannah State University, agreed to a $240,000 settlement of a race discrimination lawsuit. Wells, who is White, claimed that the historically Black university had fired him because of his race.
Wells claimed in the lawsuit that he was told by university officials that alumni would not support him because of his race and that citizens of Savannah would not support him because of his plans to marry an African American woman.
In agreeing to the settlement, the university denied any wrongdoing in the case.
Dec 02, 2011: Confederate Flag Controversy at the Beaufort Campus of the University of South Carolina
Byron Thomas is a 19-year-old student at the University of South Carolina Beaufort. He had a Confederate battle flag hanging in the window of his dormitory room on campus where it could be seen by people walking through campus. Just before Thanksgiving, university officials told him to remove the flag. After he posted a video online at CNN explaining his views, officials relented and told him he could display the flag.
In an email to the campus community, a university spokesperson stated that officials had asked Thomas to remove the flag “out of respect for his fellow students’ concerns.” But the email went on to state that the university had a firm regard for the First Amendment right of free speech and that “the university cannot and will not prohibit these flags or other symbols that our students choose to display.”
By the way, Thomas is an African American.
Here is the video of Thomas explaining his views.
A group of African American religious leaders and the Albuquerque chapter of the NAACP have filed a civil rights complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education against the University of New Mexico. The suit charges that the university has created a racially hostile environment for students, faculty, and staff. The complaint singles out the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center.
Among the charges in the complaint are:
• No African Americans have ever held leadership posts in the administration or faculty outside of Black studies.
• Black faculty and staff are paid less than Whites in similar posts.
• Black faculty and staff receive harsher discipline for rules infractions than White faculty and staff.
• Black doctors and nurses at the Health Sciences Center are subjected to a racially hostile work environment.
• Black patients do not get the same level of care at the hospital’s emergency room as other patients.
In a statement responding to the allegations, the university administration said, ““We do not discriminate against African-Americans. The university has very clear policies in place which prohibit discrimination and we train our employees to comply with the law and our policies.”
Nov 20, 2011: Sorority at the University of Southern Mississippi Disciplines Six Students for Blackface Incident
Six students at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg were placed on probation by their sorority for dressing in blackface to attend an off-campus party. The students went in costume depicting themselves as members of the Huxtable family from the 1980s television sitcom, The Cosby Show.
The students, all members of the Phi Mu sorority, will not be disciplined by the university. Dean of Students Eddie Holloway, stated, “Though it is clear that these women had no ill intent, it was also clear that they had little cultural awareness or competency, and did not understand the historical implication of costuming in blackface.”
This past Saturday, the phrase “All Niggers Must Die” was found written on a hallway wall on the fourth floor of Prospect Hall at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The administration acted quickly by notifying local police and holding discussions with students and faculty. Classes and athletic practices were cancelled on Monday. More than a thousand students, faculty, and staff members came together on Chapin Lawn after a student-led march to hear from President Adam Falk and other administrators, as well as students. A slide show of photos from the day of reflection at Williams can be viewed here.
A committee was formed to develop a protocol on how to handle any future incidents of this nature.
Sep 09, 2011: New York University Settles Harassment Lawsuit Filed on Behalf of an African-Born Former Employee
New York University has agreed to settle a race discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The suit was filed on behalf of an African-born former employee who used to work in the university’s library mailroom. The employee alleged that his supervisor frequently referred to him as a “monkey” and told him to “go back to his cage.” The suit alleged that the university was slow to respond to the employees allegations of being subjected to a racially hostile workplace.
The university agreed to pay the former employee $210,000 and pledged to improve its complaint procedures.
Trayvon Martin’s death has not only sparked a national debate over racial profiling and prompted a federal investigation, it has also made many recall other fatal shootings of unarmed civilians. In less than two months since Martin died, reckless police behavior has been cited in the deaths of two other people. In some instances, law-enforcement officials have acted unlawfully themselves—and not in self-defense. On Wednesday, five New Orleans police officers were sent to prison following the deaths of two unarmed civilians and a subsequent coverup. Will the crackdown set a new precedent for rogue cops? From the post-Katrina victims to Amadou Diallo and Sean Bell, see the cases of other unarmed civilians who were shot dead by police.
Less than a month after the death of Trayvon Martin, another unarmed black teen was shot dead, this time in Pasadena, Calif. Kendrec McDade, 19, was shot and killed on March 24, after the Pasadena Police Department received a 911 call about an armed robbery. Investigators later determined the caller had lied about McDade’s possession of a gun, and that the teen had allegedly acted as a “lookout” during a burglary at a restaurant. When police caught up with McDade and his juvenile accomplice, an officer reportedly shot McDade several times after he allegedly made a motion at his waistband. His family has since filed a federal wrongful-death lawsuit citing racial profiling.
Last week, some 200 people protested outside the home of a Chicago police officer who shot and killed an unarmed woman on March 21 while he was off duty. Chicago Police have admitted that the victim, Rekia Boyd, 22, was an innocent bystander. She was struck in the head by a bullet after an officer opened fire at a man who police say was approaching him with a gun in his hand. While police maintain 39-year-old Antonio Cross was indeed armed, Cross and his family insist he was only carrying a cellphone. No weapon was recovered from the scene. The shooting that killed Boyd is being investigated by Chicago’s independent police review authority.
Kenneth Chamberlain Sr.
Last November, Marine veteran Kenneth Chamberlain Sr. was killed at his home in White Plains, N.Y., by police who were initially responding to a call for medical help. Chamberlain, 68, suffered from a chronic heart condition and wore a pendant that could signal for help in case of a medical emergency. Having accidentally set off the pendant in his sleep, he was surprised when an armed police squad showed up outside his apartment early in the morning and reportedly demanded to be let in, despite his assurance that he was OK. Chamberlain grew increasingly agitated as cops allegedly swarmed his home and the clash resulted in him being shot twice in the chest. As in the case of Trayvon Martin, the incident was apparently sheltered from the media and authorities initially resisted a grand-jury probe. But as reports about the incident have become widely circulated, and at least one officer has reportedly been recorded on tape taunting Chamberlain and using racial slurs just before they broke down his door. More than four months later, a grand jury is hearing evidence regarding the incident.
Ronald Madison, a 40-year-old mentally disabled man who lived at home with his mother, was shot by New Orleans police officers near the now-infamous Danziger Bridge, six days after Hurricane Katrina battered New Orleans. Ronald’s brother, Lance, said they were walking across the bridge when a group of teens came up behind them and began shooting. The police showed up and began firing at people on the bridge. Madison was hit in the back and reportedly stomped on while dying by former Sgt. Kenneth Bowen, who was sentenced to 40 years in prison Wednesday.
Along with Ronald Madison, James Brissette was a victim of the Danziger Bridge shooting for which five NOPD officers were sentenced to prison on Wednesday. (Aside from Madison and Brissette, four others were gravely wounded in the gunfire.) Speaking in court, Brissette’s mother mentioned that he was only 17 when he died and that “he never knew what hit him.”
Oscar Grant was in a BART transit station in San Francisco on Jan. 1, 2009, when he was shot in the back while laying face down. Dozens of witnesses said they saw the shooting, which was filmed on several cellphones. Johannes Mehserle, the BART officer who shot Grant, said it looked like Grant was going for a gun. Grant was unarmed. The district attorney filed murder charges, but Mehserle was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and served 11 months for the crime. Grant’s family filed a $25 million civil suit against six BART police officers who were present during the shooting.
Hit by 19 bullets, Amadou Diallo died in the doorway of his apartment building in New York City on Feb. 5, 1999. Diallo was a 22-year-old West African immigrant whose death became a symbol of police brutality. Four plain-clothes police officers approached Diallo at his apartment because they thought he might be the suspect in a rape case. When Diallo reached for his wallet, the officers said they thought he was reaching for a gun and fired 41 shots at the unarmed street peddler. The officers were acquitted of second-degree murder charges.
The morning before his wedding, Sean Bell died in a hail of bullets in Queens, New York. Bell was out with friends for his bachelor party, and police suspected one of them had a gun. Bell and his buddies were driving out of a parking lot, when Detective Gescard F. Isnora reportedly ordered them to stop. Bell instead accelerated and crashed into a police minivan. Isnora thought he saw one of Bell’s friends reach for a gun and the team opened fire, blasting 50 bullets at the car. Bell was killed, while his two friends survived. Isnora and two other detectives were acquitted in a criminal trial in 2008, although Isnora was kicked off the force in March 2012.
- killer cop who fatally shot unarmed black male in the back gets his job back (innerstandingisness.wordpress.com)