Officials at Salisbury University (Maryland) have identified several black students responsible for a racist image discovered at the school’s Blackwell Library earlier this month, which featured “a stick figure being hung and labeled with a racial slur” and included the hashtag “#whitepower.”
The Wicomico County State’s Attorney’s Office has declined to press any charges; however, the university is reviewing the matter for school policy violations. If so determined, the students “could” face discipline.
That’s right — could.
As you might surmise, when first discovered the image had “reignited the conversation around race” at the school, and Salisbury President Janet Dudley-Eshbach dispatched a campus-wide message stating that the university “will not tolerate this kind of language or behavior.”
Matthew Jackson, a senior at the university, said whoever drew that image didn’t understand the severity of it, and the fact that people were actually lynched throughout history. And that’s an issue, he said.
“The main problem … was that someone thought it was a joke,” he added. “(It was) an act of immaturity.”
For that sort of image to pop up in this day and age, Jackson said, shows the disjoint of education. People don’t know what happened, or don’t know how severe it was. They don’t seem to understand slavery and racism are not something to make light of.
Jackson said he’s had contact with the administration and that there’s a hope to have a meeting in coming weeks about what happened, and the goals students have been working toward in education and diversity.
Would Jackson — who was in attendance at a contentious late-November meeting with Dudley-Eshbach and minority student leaders regarding the campus racial climate — call this matter an “act of immaturity” and a “disjoint of education” if those culpable were white? Would the university be ambiguous about disciplinary measures?