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Oct 29 2016
by Jenna Ciccotelli

Xavier University in Ohio is the Site of Multiple Racist Incidents

By Jenna Ciccotelli - Oct 29 2016
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Multiple racially charged incidents have occurred this past week at Xavier University in Cincinnati.

The first issue arose when an unidentified female student posted a blackface photo of herself on Snapchat with the caption "Who needs white when black lives matter." Brianna Chenault, a student at Xavier, posted the image to Facebook, where it has received over 1,000 shares.

Brianna Chenault via Facebook

"We are tired of the blatant racism that is so comfortably shown to us on Xavier's campus," Chenault wrote on behalf of African American students at the university. "This is not okay."

The next day, Xavier alumnus Ryan O'Toole posted another shocking photo to Facebook, with a trigger warning for "anti-blackness, racism, graphic image, [and] white supremacy." The image showed a skeleton wearing traditional West African clothing, symbolizing lynching, hanging next to a Donald Trump flag.

Ryan O'Toole via Facebook

"I am hurt, disappointed, and disgusted by events and pictures that have surfaced from my former home," O'Toole wrote. "My heart is with Xavier's black community today."

The New York Daily News reported an email had been sent out to the Xavier community by University President Michael Graham. 

"Racist actions are unacceptable on our campus, and we have mechanisms to respond in a responsible and thoughtful manner," he wrote. "Steps are being taken to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future."

The University held a support forum on campus racism this week and said on Facebook that the Bias Advisory Response Team "is assessing the situation and figuring out immediate and long term next steps of action for the campus community" and promised an update to the campus community in the next week.

"We can, must and will do better," they said.

Racism is never acceptable, and it's up to Xavier University to withhold these standards and make sure the students that committed these acts are punished properly.

Lead Image Credit: Xavier University via Facebook

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Jenna Ciccotelli - Northeastern University

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