The following piece is from Daily Kos. It was written by AyDeeTheGreat.
Clemson University doesn’t care about Black students. It doesn’t seem to care much for any of its students who represent diverse communities on campus. I’d go even further and say the institution is not so much concerned with students at all as it is with keeping its image unsullied by anything that may be construed as negative.
I’ve spent the past two weeks filled with passion and proud participation in demonstrations and meetings on campus with students of color after grand juries in both Missouri and New York decided not to indict the men who killed Michael Brown and Eric Garner. Many people on campus expressed the same passion and pride I felt to be among such a group of people dedicated to showing solidarity with communities across the country wanting to express#BlackLivesMatter. These conversations have connected with issues students feel can be better addressed on campus, and many of the meetings reflected a desire to see change in this regard. One of the things I’ve noticed is the culture of silence. It’s no secret we attend school on a plantation, yet no one really talks about it. When a concerned party brings it up, it’s quickly dismissed.
In 2007 Clemson found itself in the midst of a bit of negative press when students participated in a “gangster-themed” party before the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.
If they say those who don’t learn history are doomed to repeat it, then it’s pretty safe to say Clemson University will remain in a permanent time loop, repeating over and over mistakes from its sordid [and largely unacknowledged] past.
Students at Clemson have decided to try the gangster theme again this year, with the“Crip”mas Party this weekend. Pictures of the event have surfaced online.
t seems this event may be in response to the recent student activism on campus. Dissenters have openly voiced their opposition to the demonstrations via social media. Many of the most outspoken commenters have voiced their opinion on Yik Yak with comments such as “what are these tar babies doing on Bowman Field[?]” and “go back to Africa!”
It’s rumored that one of the organizations involved with this party is the same fraternity to which Tucker Hipps, a Clemson student whose mysterious death is still being investigated amidst speculation of a hazing ritual gone wrong, belonged. The university has been conspicuously silent about the investigation into the death of Mr. Hipps.
I take this personally because I’ve been feeling this silence since I arrived at Clemson. It’s what prompted me to begin the work on the See The Stripes Campaign, which goes into the history of institutional racism in the very foundations of Clemson, as well as its celebration of well-known white supremacist Benjamin Tillman, whose name adorns the most visible building on campus, segregationist Strom Thurman, whose name is on the Institute for Government and Public Affairs, and slave owner John C. Calhoun, whose plantation house sits in the middle of campus, open seven days a week for tours.
Clemson Political Science professor, David Woodard, wrote the campaign off as “fascism,”and then months later found himself accused of racism for an “exit poll” filled with insensitive questions dealing directly with race.
Clemson University’s response: utter silence.
When it seems the university’s official position is silence on any issue dealing with students feeling unwelcome in the community, why should anyone believe the university truly wants ALL students to feel they are a part of the “family” Clemson claims we are?
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