Monday, October 10, 2011

“No Niggers Please”: Michigan State University Rocks with Racial Controversy

Michigan State University is on fire after a series of racially-motivated incidents have taken place on the campus. Most recently, a sign that says “No Ni**ers Please” put on the women’s restroom has become the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

“The incident that really jump-started this movement was an incident at Akers Hall where someone wrote ‘No Ni**ers, please’ on a door of a young lady’s room,” said Mario Lemons, the president of the MSU Black Student Alliance (BSA). “The residence life staff told us not to talk about. Of course, someone took a picture of it and sent it to one of us.”

Over 1,000 students gathered in Conrad Hall to discuss racial tension on the campus and how to resolve it.

“We put it on Facebook and Twitter and started a dialog about it,” said Lemons. “From that came more stories of other people going through things on campus.”

There was another story of a black doll being hung with a noose outside the chemistry lab in September.

“There are people overtly saying the n-word,” said Lemons. “People telling other students that they don’t belong here, saying that they only got here because of Affirmative Action. Very unwelcoming things done to black people on campus.”

The students say that Tinisha Sharp was the target of the chemistry lab incident. She also saw a racial slur written on a dry-erase board.

“I couldn’t believe my eyes,” said Sharp. “It was very surprising to see a message like that. I really thought this type of discrimination had been ceased by this time. But I guess not.”

A statement was soon released by Lou Anna K. Simon via email:

“The University supports free speech including the use of words that are offensive to most in our community,” Simon said. “However, given the nature of these incidents, the MSU police were immediately contacted and the matter has been turned over to them to investigate, not only as a form of vandalism, but also as potential ethnic intimidation. I am personally awaiting the outcome of the police investigation.”

“In my many years at MSU, this rash of incidents at various parts of the campus in such a short timeframe is unmatched, is extraordinarily troubling and creates a legitimate concern that all of us must address.”

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