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UNC Black Congress issues demands in light of student president’s past Twitter comments

The University of North Carolina Black Congress is taking advantage of the student newspaper’s efforts at discovering racism by — you guessed it — issuing a set of demands.

A little over a week ago, intrepid Daily Tar Heel reporter Maddy Arrowood dug up several “offensive” tweets made by UNC Student Body President Savannah Putnam while she was in high school. Arrowood wanted to see if any “high profile” UNC students had said anything objectionable on social media given several notable instances that had occurred at UNC other campuses.

Among the distasteful tweets: “Like dang all a n***a wanna do is play monopoly with her main thots,” and “That is so ghetto.”

Putnam took issue with the report, noting “I don’t think journalism should involve pulling quotes from 12-year-olds who obviously have a lot to learn about the world. This obviously isn’t something that I stand by, as evidenced by a platform centered around inclusivity.”

In a recent Daily Tar Heel op-ed, the Black Congress rips into Putnam, criticizing her “instinct to deflect and dismiss the consequences of [her] words,” her castigation of Arrowood, and says her “platform of supposed-inclusivity is extremely disturbing and dangerous.”

“The totality of your past and current actions,” it continues, “demonstrate a lack of genuine critical thought about your past and sends concern to your student body, especially Black and other students of color.”

Nevertheless, the BC says it is “encouraged” by the Student Body’s post-Putnam-revelations actions, including its statement on the student who had vandalized the Silent Sam statue.

And, naturally, “there is still work to be done.” As such, the Black Congress demands the following:

1. [M]ore transparency through the release of a diversity report on your administration​.

2. [M]ore transparency and substance on the implementing of your ​diversity council.

3. [T]he public release of your plans on an ​implicit bias training.

4. [T]hat you highlight the intersection of mental health and a racially hostile environment​.

5. that you and your administration publicly call for the immediate removal of Silent Sam​ from this campus.

Regarding numbers 4 and 5, the BC claims the mental health of students of color is “severely impacted” by the continued “racially hostile environment” perpetuated by the Silent Sam statue.

Read the full op-ed.

MORE: UNC paper plays ‘gotcha’: finds student president’s ‘offensive’ tweets

MORE: Faculty group: We will take down UNC’s ‘Silent Sam’ statue ourselves

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