Two racially charged hate crimes have occured over the last week at Ohio University. One occured to a student named Chris Brown. Chris Brown is the only Black student on his residence floor in James Hall and he is an RA. On March 21st, 2022 at 2:30 am a white student urinated on his door.When Brown confronted the resident, the resident ran and changed his clothes. Chris had to choose between chasing the racist or grabbing paper towels to soak up the urine before it reached his xbox. This student is a white D1 baseball student and Chris feels as if Ohio University is not going to do anything about it. Naomi Hamner was the second student who had experienced a hate crime in her residence hall, she was as well the only Black resident at the end of her hall besides the RA. A trash bag marked “Trash N—– Bitch” was laid in front of someone else’s door but Naomi Hamner thinks they mistaked their room for hers. Apparently in Sargent, according to The Post, a Black History Month bulletin board was ripped down on Naomi Hamner’s floor and a upside down Black baby doll was taped to a door.
Chris Brown went to Twitter to speak out causing students to become angry and speak up about the injustices. Ohio University pages are posting the same statement to all of their pages claiming they do not condone such actions. Many students are calling this performative because they have not done anything else so far. All of this lead up to a protest about racism at Ohio University to take place on March 24th, 2022.
To spread the word students are using #RACISMATOHIOU. This protest took place at the Peden Stadium Parking Lot at 3:30 on March 24th. The dress code was to wear all black or BLM attire. About 300 people were in attendance and many Black people chose to share their stories. In fact, one student (who I will not name) challenged President Sherman to come out of his office. Students addressed faculty and Ohio University as an institution.
When asked why people were in attendance to the protest occuring at Peden Stadium students said:
“I came here because it is (Ohio University) supposed to be an accepting campus and I don’t like how the university is handeling the racists actions. I want to show students of color that they’ve got people looking out for them”-Mia Provenzano
“Frankly, I am here because I think our school is supposed to not tolerate hate and represent diversity but their actions against these current racist situations has not withheld to what they say they stand for. If they actually stood for what they say, they would give proper justice”-Midnight
“I am here for the support of the school and the black community at Ohio University. I am also here hoping that there will start to be a change here on campus”-Caleb McCleskey
Black students of Ohio University feel ashamed to be a Bobcat because they do not feel as if they belong. Many students admitted that they do not feel safe on campus because the administration and institution has done nothing to make them feel safe. One alumni shared her experience as a bio-premed major and how one professor would not email Black students back and would refuse to meet with Black students. This same alumni went to administration and nothing was done about this professor. Black students are crying out for justice, to get the same protection white students get, to be heard, for the school to hold their professors, students, and administrators accountable for their actions. They do not want more statements and emails with no actions behind it. One student asked, “Ohio University, what are you doing to try to protect us?”
Students are planning on continuing to protest until Ohio University takes action about these recent acts and transform how they treat students of color.
As the chant went: “No Policy, No Peace.” Give these students and the Black community justice.