You might remember Alyssa Parker. She’s the Buena Vista University cheerleader who took a stand for racial injustice and quit her cheerleading squad after the school issued a policy mandating that players and cheerleaders stand during the national anthem.
It seems that everyone was impressed by Parker’s upstanding character and her willingness to stand by what she believes. I say that because between Friday and Monday, a handful of students at the university, including Parker, woke up to find racial slurs written across their dorm-room doors.
“I woke up to knocks on our door from a friend that we have, and he was just freaking out because when we opened the door, the n-word was written on our door,” Parker told WHO-TV.
The news station reports that Parker’s incident was just the latest in a string of incidents that included the world “illegal” being written on a Hispanic student’s door and “KKK” and a swastika drawn on a white student’s door. All the incidents happened in the Pierce and White residence halls of the university, but Parker, along with her roommate, Emerald Jones, believe that they were targeted because of Parker’s stance.
“We have a few black women on our floor, and it’s not like it was on all of their doors. It was just on ours,” Jones said.
“I think that someone is just very upset with how loud we’ve been with our protests,” Parker added.
A 19-year-old student at the university, Ryan Bills, has been arrested in connection with racist graffiti found across multiple residence hall doors. However, Parker says that Storm Lake, Iowa, police don’t believe Bills is behind the graffiti on her door.
Nonetheless, Parker says she has been pleased with the response from both the school and the police.
School President Joshua Merchant released a statement:
Let me be clear, I am repulsed by this behavior. I am sad and angry that these deplorable acts were carried out by a few individuals. Hate is an open attack on tolerance and acceptance. I am asking you to not tolerate hate, instead speak up. ... Victims of hate crimes often feel terribly alone and afraid. They have been attacked simply for who they are. Your silence amplifies their isolation; it also condones the act of hate. Victims need a strong message that they are valued. Small acts of kindness can help. I am charging all of you with one small act of kindness before you leave for Christmas break.
The school is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the party responsible.
“I hope that someone sees the $500 and wants it enough to just come forward. The Storm Lake Police have been really helpful; they were there since 8 a.m. yesterday and they didn’t leave until 8 p.m. I think that everyone is taking it very seriously, and so I’m really happy about that,” Parker, who is also president of the Black Student Union, said.
Read more at WHO-TV.