YorkU students rally against racist graffiti

YorkU students rally against racist graffiti

Photo: Into the library by Gavatron.

The racist graffiti that appeared at York University last week raised some eyebrows around the city, but many students at the university still feel that enough isn't being done to change an environment they feel is rife with systemic racism.

This afternoon, the York University Black Student Alliance is asking concerned students and community members to join them in denouncing the heinous hate acts and stand in solidarity in order to bring about change so that such acts will not be repeated.

An email sent to me last night by the YUBSA read as follows:

Join YUBSA this TUESDAY to demonstrate our collective resistance to systemic racism at York University and beyond. Writings left on the YUBSA Door read: 'n***as go back to Africa' and there was a second sign in the washroom saying, 'all n***ers must die.'

In light of the recent racist writings on the YUBSA door and the general chilly campus climate; we invite you all to stand in solidarity with us to reiterate our demands louder and stronger. They are:

1. Public condemnation of the acts by the President of York University.

2. An investigation into the incident.

3. Black students be apart of the administrative committees for devising and implementing policies related to racism, oppression and student community life.

4. A safety audit to be conducted by an external third party group.

It is up to our collective will and concerted efforts to ensure our demands are met and voices are heard.

The demonstration takes place today, January 29, at 1pm at Vari Hall at York University.

I spoke a York University student this morning who told me that she was shocked at the incident, but was "even more surprised that the York administration hasn't really done much to address the issue yet. It's like they're hoping that people will forget about it if they don't say anything about it."

It does seem a bit shocking to me that such incidents still continue to occur in a city like Toronto that prides itself on its multiculturalism. While I myself have been on the receiving end of isolated incidents of racism in this city over the years, it still rattles me when I hear about these manifestations of ignorance and hatred.

Is the York University incident — coming so soon after the problems over racist death threats at the Don Jail — indicative of the widespread level of racism in our city? Is Toronto doing enough to encourage multicultural understanding and tolerance?


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