Black Students at DC’s American University Post Racist Social Media Messages on Campus to Draw Attention to Campus Race Issues

The students are tired of the racist posts on social media targeting black students.

Racist social media posts on Yik Yak
Racist social media posts on Yik Yak The Darkening 

Editor’s note: This article contains social media posts that some may find offensive.

Being a black student on a predominantly white campus isn’t always easy. Especially when some of your white classmates repeatedly post racist comments on a popular social media app used by college students.

Such is the case at American University.

Members of a student-led, racial-justice community organization called the Darkening launched #TheRealAU campaign so that students could share their experience with racism on campus, something the organization says the university’s president, Neil Kerwin, has failed to address aside from a memorandum written in April.

“Recently members of our campus community were subjected in social media to racist, offensive comments that were reprehensible,” Kerwin wrote. “Similar experiences are occurring with disturbing frequency nationwide at other colleges and universities, but they are especially unwelcome at our university, which so actively strives to be diverse and inclusive. … Like all institutions devoted to learning, we face a great challenge in balancing conditions that make it possible for every member of the community to learn and work in a respectful environment that also supports free academic inquiry and unfettered speech.”

However, black students on campus say that racist messages are being left on the popular Yik Yak app and that although they’ve complained to the president about it, nothing has been done. As a result, the students decided to take action.

On Oct. 8 the students posted screenshots of the racist messages all around campus in hopes of drawing attention to the ongoing issue. But eventually the images were taken down by campus security.

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