The American University student who referred to a man garbed in a Confederate flag hoodie as “violence” recently sat down with the “non-judgmental platform” The Rival to discuss her reaction to the incident a bit more in depth.
Sociology major Francis Hernandez reiterated her claim of “violence,” and continued with a litany of complaints against American U. for its handling of the incident. The AU police officer who talked to the man in the hoodie, for example, dared to smile at the man … and he even shook his hand.
“In my opinion, racists shouldn’t be treated cordially,” Hernandez said. “I understand it’s part of his job, but it really was a slap in the face. To have my intentions questioned, and to have him sit down with this man, converse with him, as if he deserved respect.”
Hernandez also was angered by the “white men in [her Twitter] DMs” whom, she says, “were feeling victimized” due to the prevalence of “white fragility.”
She added: “Those people need to check their privilege as to why they have never had to think about this issue.”
A lot of people have been commenting on my post asking, “how is this violence,” or saying, “you obviously don’t know what violence is. Wearing that hoodie is a violent act. That flag is a violent symbol. It is a symbol of white supremacy. So many white people that night responded with, “thank you… thank you for saying something.” They patted themselves on the back, and probably think to themselves that they have done something productive when they really haven’t. …
That really is what the cisheteropatriarchy is. If you are white and cis and hetero, and you are not actively working to deconstruct those systems of power, then you are complicit. The amount of gaul [sic] the white men at this school have to message me with their two cents, that’s not just innocent. I’m not surprised that people disagreed with me, but the amount of white men in my DMs infantilizing me, and depoliticizing me, and trying to make my reaction about emotions. The one guy I mentioned to you, he said “well these are just my two cents, take with it what you will, I’m glad you are passionate about something most teens are not.” That wording is not innocent. I am 19 years old yes, but I am a grown women [sic], and you will refer to me as such.
American University officials should have “denounce[d] the violence that hoodie represents,” Hernandez continued, and said the school should hire people trained to deal with such situations — those who studied sociology (like her) or cultural anthropology.
“The University needs to stop making students labor for them. AU is just a constant cycle of performative actions and regressive systems,” she said.
What does that mean, exactly?
“In my opinion AU stands behind everything in this world that is wrong, like cis-hetero white supremacy,” Hernandez continued. “A simple example of this would be fossil fuels. This University is invested in fossil fuels, and we know that it’s gonna damage people in the, and please but quotes around this, ‘global south.’ We can’t act like AU doesn’t prioritize certain human lives over others. AU does not do the work that is needed.”
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