Perspectives

Editorial: How to stop racism from winning on college campuses

Thursday, May 11, 2017

American University has been seized by racial unease since a half-dozen pairs of bananas, their skins scrawled with toxic messages, were found hanging from black string nooses just after dawn early last week. The incident coincided with the ascension of the university’s first African American female student government president, Taylor Dumpson, a junior, who was subsequently placed under protection by campus police after a white supremacist urged others to troll her online.

If the bananas stunt’s perpetrator had hoped to ignite a spasm of fear and fury on the university’s leafy Northwest campus, they succeeded, but beyond that it’s difficult to know what they hoped to achieve. A small student demonstration was defused by administrators who immediately acceded to the protesters’ demands and said they would go even further to foster racial sensitivity and responsiveness on campus, and the FBI quickly joined the investigation into an episode deemed a hate crime.

Read the full editorial from the Washington Post Editorial Board.

Perspectives

"Perspectives" stories are the views and opinions of their authors and do not necessarily reflect any official position of the University of Minnesota.