As The College Fix has previously reported, student athletes at the University of North Carolina were the beneficiaries of “an 18-year scheme that included bogus classes, inflated grades and a ‘shadow curriculum’ advanced by those in charge.”
But don’t be so hasty to blame those actually responsible.
This past Wednesday, a campus group called the Real Silent Sam coalition got together to give their response to the results of the scandal investigation.
“In this space, we will not bend to the will of oppression! We will lift our voices to the administration and the world. We will reclaim our space in higher education. This is your space!” UNC senior Taylor Webber-Fields said to the crowd gathered on the front steps of one of the administrative buildings.
The Real Silent Sam is a coalition of UNC students, faculty, and community members who aim to “create honest dialogue” about Chapel Hill monuments and buildings, according to the group’s description.
On Wednesday, however, the coalition’s mission was more about the structure of the university as it rallied to “reveal ways in which our university participates in the ‘American’ system of white supremacist, heteropatriarchal capitalism and brings our understanding of what it means to be a Tar Heel into question,” according to the group’s Facebook page.
“The way that the media corrupted what happened in this space was informed by the way that blackness is understood here,” Omololu Babatunde, a UNC senior who spoke at the rally, told Campus Reform. “Society, which is reflected in the media, understands blackness in such a discredited way that it’s able to corrupt something that is much broader than one site.”
Some students and faculty felt the African-American Studies department was being “scapegoated” in the scandal — because “society doesn’t value” such programs.
UNC student Tasia Harris said, “I think that, intentional or not, words have a lot of power and the language and proceedings of this investigation have shown that we don’t value athletes and we don’t value black studies.”