Anonymous, SUNY Oneonta Student
I am a black female student who was waiting for the bus between Milne Library and Schumacher Hall around 1 a.m. one night, when the Hillside Commons bus pulled up. A white male student with frat letters on his shirt got off the bus shouting, “There will never be a nigger in SAE. You could hang them from a tree, but they will never pledge with me. There will never be a nigger in SAE.” He looked right at me, chanting with a smile on his face. He was blatantly racist without a care in the world.
A white female student came to my defense and exchanged words with him. She was furious. I was so thankful she stood up and said something. A lot of students don’t speak up when a student of color or a student of the LGBTQ community is being discriminated against.
I was in awe that he would repeat the same racist chant that an Oklahoma University fraternity was banned earlier this year for saying, and that he felt comfortable enough to say it while looking me dead in the face. I’m not shocked to hear a white student say and do something racist because I hear it and see it everyday on our campus. As a student of color, I am confronted with racism every week.
The week prior to this incident, myself and a few other black students were on the bus headed into town. It was on the weekend and the bus was crowded. We were just standing, not saying a word, when a white male student said, “Let’s piss off the black kids on the bus and say ‘Fuck Obama.’” As soon as they started to shout the rest of the white students decided to join in with them. They all intentionally singled us out to hurt us, and why? Just because we are black. And no one said that was wrong, no one said anything.
It is too often that students of color and students of the LGBTQ community are discriminated against by white students on our campus. There are no policies being enforced that protect us and bring some form of disciplinary action to those who feel it is okay to hurt us with their words, with their derogatory remarks because of our race, gender, religion or disabilities. Just because it isn’t broadcasted and you may not have experienced it doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.
Something must be done and soon. We have diversity but no inclusiveness. I am not saying all white students are racist, but for the ones who are, we all, no matter your race, should stand up to those racist students, faculty and staff and no longer be bystanders. When we see and/or hear someone being discriminated against we must all speak up. The only way to change the racial tensions and discrimination on our campus is if we all, Black, White, Asian and Latinos, join together and unite to make an impactful change.
And again, I would like to say thank you to the student who stood up for me that night I was waiting for the bus. I greatly appreciate what you did for me and how brave you were, and I hope someone else will also have the courage you did and stand up for others in the face of discrimination.