Students at Kansas State University are now feeling unsafe because of one highly sarcastic tweet.
Jaden McNeil, the president and founder of America First Students, published a Twitter post on June 25 mocking the death of George Floyd.
Students called for McNeil’s death, claiming that the offensive tweet was racist. After the universityrefused to expel McNeil, hundreds of students voiced their feelings that the campus was now unsafe for minorities.
The original tweet posted by McNeil on June 25, which has since been deleted, read “Congratulations to George Floyd on being drug free for an entire month!” according to The Kansas City Star.
Shortly following that, the university released a statement from KSU President Richard Myers on Twitter.
“The insensitive comments posted by one K-State student hurts our entire community. These divisive statements do not represent for the values of our university. We condemn racism and bigotry in all its forms,” Myers wrote in a statement, despite the fact that McNeil’s post never made any mention of race.
“We are launching an immediate review of the university’s options. Black Lives Matter at Kansas State University and we will continue to fight for social justice.”
We are launching an immediate review of the university’s options. Black Lives Matter at Kansas State University and we will continue to fight for social justice.
— K-State (@KState) June 26, 2020
Kansas State students, alumni and athletes demanded that McNeil be expelled. (This is a school where an English professor labeled Republicans a “death cult” in April because of GOP opposition to Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s coronavirus lockdown orders.)
On July 1, Myers announced that KSU would not expel McNeil because it would “violate the law” if it did so.
“While these messages are disrespectful and abhorrent, we cannot violate the law,” Myers said according to The Kansas City Star.
Due to the school’s unwillingness to remove McNeil, many students are claiming they feel unsafe.
“I’m scared to go back to school,” one KSU sophomore said, according to The Kansas City Star.
“I feel like the K-State environment is hostile and not welcoming to Black students. And our administration has not taken actionable measures against racist incidents that have happened there, and this is not the first one.”
Another student told the newspaper that the school should be doing more.
“And the university knows that we are concerned because they have offered us counseling services. But we don’t want counseling. Instead of teaching us how to live with racism on campus they should focus their efforts on eliminating it,” an incoming freshman said.
One student went so far as to conduct an unscientific poll on Twitter asking if students of color on K-State’s campus felt safe returning “with the current racial climate.”
As a student of color on @KState ‘s campus, do you feel safe returning in the fall with the current racial climate?
— just call me tori (@toriel_imani) June 30, 2020
Of the 124 respondents, nearly 80% reported feeling unsafe.
Several conservative commentators have publicly decried the university’s response to McNeil’s tweet and the subsequent backlash, including Michelle Malkin and The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh.
.@michellemalkin: “Why is it that, in 2020, a mainstream conservative Christian college student under fire by a violence-inciting campus mob can’t find a single prominent Republican in the Sunflower State to uphold and defend his free speech rights?”https://t.co/Ogt1UU6BWy
— CNSNews (@cnsnews) July 4, 2020
“So, why is it that, in 2020, a mainstream conservative Christian college student under fire by a violence-inciting campus mob can’t find a single prominent Republican in the Sunflower State to uphold and defend his free speech rights?” Malkin wrote in a July 1 commentary piece.
People, many of them college students, tweet the most vile stuff at me every day. My mentions are full of it. I never ask that any of them be expelled, nor would any of them be expelled even if I did ask. Which, again, I wouldn’t. Because I’m not insane.
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) June 26, 2020
“Why is the president of the university bothering himself with a joke someone made on Twitter? And in what way does an inappropriate joke hurt anyone, let alone the “entire community”? This is beyond parody. The whole university has gone into DEFCON 1 over a kid’s tweet,” Walsh wrote in a Twitter post.
“People, many of them college students, tweet the most vile stuff at me every day. My mentions are full of it. I never ask that any of them be expelled, nor would any of them be expelled even if I did ask. Which, again, I wouldn’t. Because I’m not insane.”
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