When several students are maliciously harassed and assaulted on campus by (yet to be legally identified group or individual), many students had questions such as: is this not a hate crime? Why is someone not arrested? Shouldn’t the FBI be involved? What happened to all the cameras around campus?
President Roelofs and the administration took a proactive step and called for a demonstration. “We believe that everyone has a right to fly their own personal flag, but when you come on our campus and intimidate our students and harass our students, then we find that very problematic,” said Linda Strong-Leek, Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion.
However, these incidents raise concerns about safety on campus; several students, alumni, family members and concerned parties took the issue to social media. As uncomfortable as these issues are, conversations are necessary. Some verified Facebook and Twitter users had these to say;
Dana Weiss—“Thank you for taking a stand to support our students at Berea! Thanks for keeping them safe when I am not there to do so!”
Ken Stuart—“Went to Berea in the 70’s and can say that although the school is wonderful, some pockets of racism and disdain for the college exist in the outlying community.”
Winter Dryden—“There’s ignorant people everywhere, but they will only do what they can get away with. This is exactly why the confederate flag is seen as a hate symbol. Most likely the idiots doing this are either young punks with no discipline, or unemployed losers who have nothing better to do.”
Patrick Smith—”Is Berea College such an easy target to bullying that someone has the audacity to assault her student and walk away as if nothing happened? This is a blow to BC’s fundamental values, and an assault on the mutual respect necessary in a community of learning.”
Sharon Williams—“Have the incidents been reported to the Police and if they have, what are they doing about it? I’m a Berea parent, many miles away and I am very concerned about this. Growing up In a Black country, our children have never been exposed to these flagrant acts of racism, this is rather unsettling. I hope police are investigating and I trust Berea does its utmost to keep our children safe.”
Simon Agger—“Maybe the same ones who insulted me on the crosswalk on chestnut street on 9/11/01. I am sad to see that Intolerance is so hard to shake even for a great little town of Berea.”
Donald Smith—“Wow it must be a new thing to whine and moan, about every little thing that happens. What is gone to happen when you go out in the real world ?”
Srishunbagasundaran Bathmanathan—“So it is a normal thing for you to experience, when some random dude driving a truck, starts throwing cans at you? Sounds like this college put with the verbal abuse. But once they started getting physical they decided to take action.
In the real world when someone physically assaults you, you take action, you don’t put up with that nonsense. And that is exactly what they’ve done.”
Muhammad Ishaq Khichi—“The funny part of this story is what the police are not telling you. I go to Berea and I know of several people who have called the police about what’s happening and these students have been hung up on by the police. A group of students also have went to the police station. We know who is harassing our fellow students. There are picture of the truck and the license plate number posted to several social media sites. The police are simply not doing anything about it. No one is taking it seriously.”
Amy Ryan--”This incident can only be described as enlightening; who decides who belongs to Berea College—the community or Berea College? If any change is expected, it has to be real, structural, systemic and substantial, not just rhetoric.”
Marquette Anderson Lamar—“This worry’s me, my son attends Berea.”