COLUMBIA, Mo. -- The University of Missouri is once again the scene of racial tensions after a group of black students were reportedly the target of racial slurs.
MU's Legion of Black Collegians (LBC) issued a statement which said the incident happened outside the Delta Upsilon fraternity house just before midnight Tuesday.
The statement claims two female LBC members were passing a group of six or seven white students when one of the white students said, "look at those n----rs looking at us." It goes on to say the two black students then called fellow LBC members, as they were concerned for their safety.
Police arrived as a crowd formed around the confrontation. Further racial slurs then began to be used by students watching from the fraternity house windows.
"Any student that selects to intentionally use hate speech on a campus that pushes the morals of "inclusivity" and "diversity," does not belong, and their presence continues to foster the apparent dichotomy amongst Black and white students," LBC said in a statement. "To say that we are disgusted is beyond an understatement."
The Delta Upsilon fraternity placed the Mizzou chapter on an 'emergency suspension' as they investigate the incident. A statement from the organization made clear they take incidents like this seriously.
Delta Upsilon International Fraternity is aware of a verbal altercation that took place in front of our chapter at the University of Missouri on Tuesday evening, Sept 27. We have placed the chapter on an emergency suspension as we work closely with the university to learn more about the incident. Racism and sexism have no place in our Fraternity and we expect our members to be positive contributors to inclusive campus environments.
- Justin Kirk, Executive Director
Interim vice chancellor for inclusion, diversity, and equity Kevin McDonald met with students affected, and interim chancellor Hank Foley spoke publicly at the student center on campus.
Foley said he is ready to enforce a "zero tolerance" policy for violating the school's nondiscrimination policies.
"I am outraged and saddened to hear of this! The safety and security of our campus is our No. 1 priority; the University of Missouri is committed to fostering an inclusive campus environment where all students, faculty, staff and visitors can live, learn, work and feel safe," Foley said in a statement. "We have zero tolerance for actions like this; if any student is found in violation of the Student Code and/or the University's nondiscrimination policies, they will be subject to discipline, up to and including suspension and/or expulsion. As we have stated, this is a new day on campus and we take our core values of Respect, Responsibility, Discovery and Excellence seriously."
Mizzou later stated that Delta Upsilon's temporary suspension means the fraternity "can not use university facilities nor can the organization participate in campus activities, including Homecoming and social events, according to UM Collected Rules and Regulations 200.020."
Read the Legion of Black Collegians' official statement in its unedited entirety below.
To Whom It May Concern:
At approximately 1 1:50 PM on Tuesday September 27th, 2016, two Black students were verbally assaulted in an obscene manner with regards to their racial identity; again, two more Black students were called "Niggers" on the University of Missouri's campus.
As a group of six to seven white male and female students passed the members of the Legion of Black Collegians Activities Committee, one of the white female students from the group shouted, "look at those niggers looking at us." At this moment, other members of the Activities Committee were contacted to join the two women, as they were concerned about their safety. Noticing the disruptions caused by the group, the police approached the members of the Legion to assess the situation. It was at this moment, outside of the Delta Upsilon Fraternity house, that while police were attempting to de-escalate the situation, members of the fraternity began recording the interaction, as well as shouting a variety of obscenities at the Committee. These obscenities included, but were not limited to, "Mizzou PC, C**ts, B****es, Niggers" with a plethora of other micro-aggressions.
While some of the police officers proceeded to disperse the developing crowd, some attempted to control members of the Legion as opposed to controlling those yelling out of the windows; another officer used excessive verbal force WITH his hand on his gun, in attempts to calm one of the Legion's members, who
was rightfully infuriated about the events that had just transpired.
Even though one of the suspects has been identified, and will be taken in for questioning, a simple warning is unacceptable. Any student that selects to intentionally use hate speech on a campus that pushes the morals of "inclusivity" and "diversity," does not belong, and their presence continues to foster the apparent dichotomy amongst Black and white students.
To say that we are disgusted is beyond an understatement.
It is often said that history repeats itself, but the ignorance that occurs on the University of Missouri's campus always seems to be too familiar. Due to the continuation of an intolerant culture, students of color have been attacked yet again.
As if students did not JUST experience similar disparities in equality last year, and are not all still attempting to heal from those injustices; as IF students have not been "continuing the conversation". They have experienced yet another triggering event to remind them that students still walk amongst peers who
feel superior in their privilege. It is blatantly obvious that all of this superficial work has been nothing more than a discussion with little action behind it.
Quite frankly, WE. ARE. SICK. OF. THIS!
Rightful action will be taken to not only correct these wrongs, but to prevent such acts of hate from happening further. Wc are currently working with members of Administration in order to develop policies and identify follow up actions to eradicate these instances in the now and in the future.
Enough is Enough.
The Legion of Black Collegians