Racial incidents occur at Miami, XU

Protests to bias incidents cause some Xavier students to ask if we do enough

Photo courtesy of The Miami Student | Miami Students protest incidents of bias that have occurred on campus in recent weeks. Miami school adminstrators met with student leaders from the Black Action Movement 2.0 to discuss solutions.

On April 6, Miami University—Oxford President Greg Crawford and other administrators met with a group of students called the Black Action Movement 2.0 (BAM 2.0) to discuss the response to racial incidents that occurred on their campus. The meeting came about after several demonstrations the week before.

“I’m glad to see people organizing, I’m glad to see people being active,” junior theology major John Duque said. “I wish we saw more of that here on our campus with bias incidents that happened, but we’ll see what the results are.”

The demonstrations at Miami were prompted by a screenshot on Twitter that showed a first-year student bragging in a Tinder message about using the n-word in a GroupMe message.

The situation was inflamed when a different student took a Snapchat of students occupying space in the Armstrong Student Center, saying “Who let the zoo out???” followed by three monkey emojis.

Bias incidents have occurred at Xavier throughout the last few months, including the hanging of a Swastika flag in a Husman Hall window, the n-word written on a bulletin board and several swastikas carved in various locations.

In response to these incidents, the Bias Advisory and Response Team (BART) held a forum and sent out emails to the student body. Father Michael Graham, president, has also sent out an email denouncing these incidents.

Philosophy, Politics and the Public major Ellen Rakowski feels that the responses have not sufficiently addressed the incidents or their underlying issues.

“I think that Xavier handles bias incidents in a different way (from Miami),” Rakowski said. “A lot of students want to see justice for the racial bias or anti-Semitic bias that’s been happening, but due to legal causes, we’ll never know the answers, what happens to these people. That being said, I think our response with forums, that’s basically the whole response, and people release statements, and that’s not enough.”

Duque agreed with Rakowski’s sentiment.

“The administration just kinda does this, I dunno, it’s kinda like sleight of hand, where they just distract you with talking about the issues that are going on and, they put on this public forum, and by the time that any kind of recourse should be coming out of it, people have kind of forgotten about it,” Duque said.

“You saw that with the blackface incident last year. That student who was involved is still a student here. You saw that with the hanging of the skeleton wearing the dashiki last year. Those students are still students at Xavier University. I think the university has still given no actual response. They haven’t taken any kind of responsibility, haven’t held any kind of accountability, and those problems continue.”

Rakowski went on to say that she believes the reason that there has been a different response from students is because of the lack of knowledge as to who has been behind the bias incidents.

“These anti-Semitic incidents…have been anonymous,” Rakowski said. “There’s no target. So, what’s happening at Miami, that’s public information. People know who to blame, which makes it easier to respond to at large rather than having a response to an email that you get from a committee that you don’t know about.”

By: Kevin Thomas ~U.S. & World News Editor~