Stop the hate | Op-Ed
By Tykime Davis | Published Dec. 9, 2015
In 2015 alone, police in the United States have shot and killed 31 unarmed black people, according to statistics by The Washington Post.
“A year after Michael Brown’s fatal shooting, unarmed black men are seven times more likely than whites to die by police gunfire,” states The Post, which is compiling a database of every fatal shooting this year in the U.S. by police.
Clearly, the African-American community has a lot of fear, pain, anger and confusion.
African-Americans contribute so much to this country – think of art, music, sports, literature, poetry and more — but we are still fighting for respect from other races especially from the white race.
This fall, at the University of Missouri, administrators were not making changes to stop a pattern of awful threats and racism against African-American students.
Several students and the university football team took a stand against racism and had strikes and a huge protest, which made the college president and the chancellor step down.
This was just the beginning of progress.
On November 18, on our own campus, 70 Kean University students gathered in a peaceful protest by the clock tower to raise the community’s consciousness about racial and social injustices that plague our society.
An hour later, an anonymous Twitter account began sending Tweets stating, “Black people at Kean University will die” and “I will kill all the blacks tonight, tomorrow and any other day if they go to Kean University” and other disturbing threats.
President Dawood Farahi, campus administrators, state, county, and campus police acted on this threat immediately, but that didn’t take the fear away from the African-American students attending college here.
That Wednesday, I received a text from a fellow classmate who sent me a screen shot of the Twitter threats and warned me to be careful.
I also received an email from President Farahi and the campus police. Even though all of this was enough to make me not want to go to class, I still decided to go because I didn’t want that one coward to think he or she could stop me from getting my education.
The weather on that Wednesday was a perfectly sunny day. On any other sunny day, the campus would be filled with students from every culture but it wasn’t that Wednesday.
When I walked into the university center, it was also quiet with a few students, most of them white.
Honestly, I did have fear walking on campus, but my pride did not allow me to show it.
When I walked into my classroom, three students were in a course that is usually filled with over 20 students.
It was funny because all three of those students, and the professor, were shocked to see me. When I walked in, it was like they saw a ghost. Th e professor allowed me to go back home since so many students didn’t attend.
Most of the AfricanAmerican students were more cautious than I was, and they were warning other students to not attend school until everything calmed down.
Telaya Willingham, a sophomore working towards a degree in science to become a doctor, was on campus that day too and she couldn’t believe that anyone at such a diverse college would feel that way against a particular race.
It made her think about the company she kept. She said if she were able to tell the person who threatened black students she would tell them: “The black community is not your enemy and there’s no reason to hate the black community. The only difference between them and us is the opportunity they have and their skin color.”
As an African-American student at Kean University, I am thankful for getting my education in a school that embraces different cultures.
So to the person who made threats to my race, sorry but your threats don’t hurt educated people who want to be heard. We can’t stop, and we won’t stop.
Editor’s note: Last week, police charged an African-American student who was part of the rally with being behind the threats, and the university says the campus was never in danger