Things That Matter

Students Of Syracuse University Are Left Angered As Their Campus Is Rocked By Anonymous Acts Of Racism

It’s no secret that we’re living in a time that’s marked by the fear of domestic terrorism. Not only did hate crimes reach a 16 year high in 2018 according to the FBI, but according to the Gun Violence Archive, as of November 17th, there have been 369 mass shootings in the U.S. These two factors combined make the threat of mass violence a daily reality in the U.S. And that threat is the most acute for young adults going to school in the U.S.

And it’s no wonder that students on both college campuses and in high schools live in fear of an act of domestic terror being perpetrated against them. In a generation where 96% of American schools practice “active shooter” lockdown drills, young generations have been conditioned into being constantly on-guard for possible violence. And with the uptick in hate crimes, it’s understandable that students of color feel that they might be the target of a random act of domestic terrorism. Recently, the fear of mass violence has permeated the campus of Syracuse University.

Syracuse University has been making national headlines after a series of anonymous racist incidents rocked the central New York campus.

The panic at Syracuse began to build in early November, when, according to Vice, students woke up to “the n-word scrawled across the walls of both bathrooms on two floors of the residence hall”. Additionally, students of color had their name tags ripped away from their dorm room doors and torn apart. 

Things escalated further when a white supremacist manifesto infamous for its part in the Christchurch mosque shootings was uploaded to Syracuse’s page on the popular social media platform, GreekRank. And the fear reached a fever pitch when the Christchurch mosque shootings manifesto was allegedly anonymously air-dropped to a number of phones in the University library (the latter which has since been branded a “hoax” by the University chancellor). 

According to accounts, students are afraid to leave their dorms, go to class, and for students of color, draw attention to themselves in any way. Many are fleeing the campus altogether, opting to go home early as the semester winds to a close. Their professors, for the most part, have been understanding of their students’ fear. Professor of Writing Studies, Rhetoric, and Composition, Dr. Rebecca Moore Howard took to Twitter to address her students. “I have just canceled my classes tomorrow,” she said. “Too many students  messaging me that they’re scared to go to class….No class I teach is so important that my students—esp black, brown—should risk their safety”.

Students and faculty are angry at the administration for what they believe is a lackluster response to what they perceive as direct threats to minorities and marginalized groups on campus. 

Quickly, a movement that called itself #NotAgainSU formed, organizing a sit-in to protest what they believed was a lackluster response to the blatant racism happening on the university’s campus. The organization drew up a list of demands that included️ the expulsion of anyone involved in racist incidents and the hiring of more counselors the identify with marginalized groups.

But students and faculty are still disappointed at the action (or lack thereof) that the administration has taken. “There is a tension where it seems the administration is fearful of being sued by frats or affecting the University’s reputation,” said assistant political science professor Dr. Jenn M. Jackson to New York Magazine. “Meanwhile Black, Latinx, Asian, Jewish, and international/immigrant students are afraid to leave their rooms.” 

As inspiring as the student activism is, it didn’t stop the racially-motivated petty crimes from continuing to happen across campus. According the University’s Department of Public Safety, there were already 14 hate crimes reported during the length of the sit-in, one of them being a large swastika drawn in the snow. Another was an incident of derogatory graffiti aimed at Asians.

Although some progress has been made with Chancellor Kent Syverud recently admitting that there “are things that have not been handled well enough during this series of recent events,” many believe their words aren’t enough.

Students claim they won’t be happy until radical action is taken by the school’s administration.

Students of color are visibly fed up with living in fear.

Students are calling for the University’s chancellor to agree to their demands or resign.

Joe Biden, who went to Syracuse as an undergrad student, even chimed in on the conversation.

This observer makes it pretty clear what she thinks of people who won’t take a stand against hate:

https://twitter.com/MsEntropy/status/1197460596226174978?s=20 It’s moments like these that remind us that there is still so much work to do in the fight for racial, cultural, and religious equality.   

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An Abuelo Got A Hurtful Note From Bad Neighbors About His Decorations And Latino Twitter Came Into Comfort Him

Things That Matter

An Abuelo Got A Hurtful Note From Bad Neighbors About His Decorations And Latino Twitter Came Into Comfort Him

@goldenstef / Twitter

We are rarely more defensive than we are for our abuelos. The viejitos have always been there for us and seeing them treated unkindly is just heartbreaking. That is what one Twitter user experienced after her abuelo got a wretched note about his decorations outside his home.

This is the horrid letter left for @goldenstef’s abuelo by undesirable neighbors.

The letter, which is filled with misspelled words, calls the abuelo’s house an example of a “low class Mexican family.” The letter was written anonymously by neighbors and delivered to the abuelo in an attempt to shame him into changing his decorations. One of the most bizarre moments in the letter is when the angry author criticized the homeowner for having too many American flags claiming he isn’t patriotic and can’t fool the neighbors. Like, which one is it people?

The Twitter user followed up with photos of the house to show the decorations their abuelo has out front.

People flooded the Twitter post with comments supporting and sending love to the abuelo. Fellow Latinos are ready to stand with the abuelo and some just want the names of the people behind the letter so they can talk to them. Some people are stunned at how far the author was willing to go out of their way to be mean to an old man who just wants to decorate his home and front yard.

Latino Twitter wants to come together to let the abuelo know that his decorations are adorbs.

We need to come together to give her abuelo all of the wonderful decoration we love. Let’s turn his house and front yard into a showcase of all of the greatness that Latin America has to offer.

People are falling in love with this viejitos yard.

Honestly, this is a great yard. Who wouldn’t want a yard like this? This yard is original and adorable and worth all of the praise that we can muster. Thank you to people like this for making their yards something unique and worth seeing.

@goldenstef wants everyone to know just how much they appreciate the sweet messages about their abuelo’s yard.

It costs nothing to be kind. It is even better when you can be kind about something someone clearly cares so much about. Who cares if someone decorates their lawn a little too much. At least they are having fun with their lives and that is something we all need more of right now.

READ: Latinas Are Sharing Their Most Treasured Memories Of Their Abuelos And It’s Exactly What We Needed This Month

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“Sister, Sister” Actress Tia Mowry Broke Down In Tears Describing A Racist Incident She Experienced As A Teen

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“Sister, Sister” Actress Tia Mowry Broke Down In Tears Describing A Racist Incident She Experienced As A Teen

CBS Television Distribution

Back in the 90s, Tia and Tamera Mowry were experiencing the height of their fame while on the hit show “Sister, Sister.” The series which followed Tia and Tamera as Tia Landry and Tamera Campbell saw two actors play the part of two identical twins separated at birth and then accidentally reunited in their teens. It won several Emmys and Kids’ Choice Awards and cemented itself as essential Black TV. As a result, the twin sisters scored roles on other series, movies, and all kinds of media attention. And not for a lack of racist incidents that attempted to hold them back

Recently, Tia opened up about her experience as a Black teen actor in the 90s and shared a story that clearly still hurts her heart.

Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, Tia shared that she and her sister were once rejected from appearing in a teen magazine cover because of their skin color.

Speaking about the incident, Tia recalled how she’d been subjected to racism when she was a teen on the show and attempting to be on the cover of a popular magazine at the time.

“It was around Sister, Sister days. The show was extremely popular. We were beating — like in the ratings — Friends around that time,” Tia said. “So, my sister and I wanted to be on the cover of this very popular magazine at the time — it was a teenage magazine. We were told that we couldn’t be on the cover of the magazine because we were Black and we would not sell.”

The actress teared up as she went onto recall that “Here I am as an adult and, wow, it still affects me, how someone could demean your value because of the color of your skin,” she said. “I will never forget that. I wish I would have spoken up. I wish I would have said something then. I wish I would have had the courage to speak out and say that isn’t right.”

Years later Tia says she has used that moment to drive her in raising her two children.

Tia (who is a mother to Cree, 9, and Cairo, 2) says that “to this day, I’m always telling my beautiful brown-skinned girl that she is beautiful.”

“What I’ve done with my children is [reading] books,” she explained to People. “You can read incredible books to your children about Rosa Parks, about Martin Luther King Jr. — pivotal people that had a huge impact within the movement.”

“The other thing is through television, especially during this time,” she went onto explain. “I was just having my children watch a whole bunch of [things] that starred a lot of African American actors, and one of them is [TheWiz. You had Michael Jackson, Diana Ross. It was just such a great story. And my son … he loved it, [and] it’s important.”

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