Racist Flyers Show Up After Attacks

We need to address the racist response many students have had to the tragedy that occurred on Monday. 

A bit of background: On Monday, May 1, 2017, there was a stabbing incident in which three students were injured and one student's injuries proved fatal. It's an unbelievable and devastating loss for his family and friends. Most of us can't imagine that kind of loss, it's paining the whole UT community; and people immediately wanted an explanation for the tragedy. Students started drawing connections where there weren't any. A fraternity house was graffitid with the words "racist" and "rapist" days prior to the stabbings and the assumption was made that students involved in greek life were being targeted.

To make the jump from vandalism to murder is one without rationality behind it. Allegedly, a group against greek life have made threatening online statements, but again there is no linking evidence. Many began citing their friends as credible sources, and it was assumed as fact that the attacker was involved in a conspiracy targeting greek life. That just isn't true and caused 14% of UT's student body that are in a frat or sorority to believe they were in immediate danger; that fear has done more harm than good. I even believed UTPD was putting students in danger by not alerting students involved in greek life to hide their affiliation, but hindsight is 20/20- they were not at fault in omitting the rumor. It's always good to be alert and aware, but don't live in constant fear for your life because "a friend of a friend" confirmed something they heard... We all know how the game of telephone works.  

Now, we have to address the posters made and spread on UT's campus on Tuesday.

This is another level of racist sh*t. Students are using the attacker's skin color as a weapon for racist propaganda. As if somehow Monday is proof that black people are more dangerous than white people. I call bullsh*t. According to cases of mass shootings in the U.S. since 1982, if you look at the stats, which demographic comes up most? White men. And immediately white men who commit atrocities are labeled as "troubled", yet in this case, hundreds of UT students came to the conclusion that it's terrorism rooted in unexplainable hate, and some outright are saying (or distributing posters) that it's because the attacker was black. 

Students assumed the attacks were in response to their racist parties. It was not, but don't think for one second you can defend those racist parties. I myself have seen a handful of people on my FB feed justifying KKK parties saying "black people's outrage at their racism kills people and we don't". I'm sorry, I think we all need a history lesson on what the KKK has done, how our criminal justice system functions, and how many young innocent black kids have to die before you realize your parties are just tiny illustrations of the lingering effects of our country's racist roots. When a white boy committs mass murder he's immediately met with shock and empathy. A black boy kills someone and you say it's because of his skin color? This isn't permissible. And outrage against these posters does not diminish how terrible, disgusting and tragic Monday's events were.

If you can't see how one student doesn't reflect on a whole race, I encourage you to dig a little deeper. Those kinds of generalizations are dangerous. I'm not for one second telling you to excuse his actions, I'm asking you to think about how your racial biases are oppressing so many people. There have been public apologies, but all they do is allude to sadness over the University being associated with racism rather than outrage at this reaction. “The words and ideas contained on the flyers were hateful, divisive and run counter to the values of our university,” (UT President Fenves) yes I do hope the values of your university aren't "black people are threats", no sh*t UT. I want to see intent on action being taken to find and expel those involved with the posters.

Again, addressing this issue does not diminish the severity of Monday's attacks, this isn't an either/or deal. Your school has suffered a terrible loss, but a huge issue is coming to light because of it and you can't shove that under the rug anymore.