Should I Let You Call Me Nigger?

call-me-nigger

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This weekend, while a friend of mine was preaching at a black history event at a mostly white university, students on social media were making racial comments about him in particular and blacks in general.

 

The Adventist social media blogosphere was awash with comments about the incident; many called for the school to stop students from using Yik Yak and to get Yik Yak to identify the students in question so they could be “punished”.

This and other recent incidents at universities (Missouri, Yale  and Oklahoma to name a few) show us that despite sunny reports to the contrary, millennials are not “race blind” and/or “color blind”.

But what is the “punishment” that we want to dispense?  I don’t think expelling the Oklahoma students did anything to change their views about minorities.  They likely returned home as “conquering heroes”, back to the communities where they probably learned their hate rhetoric in the first place.  The university environment was possibly the most diversity they’d ever experienced, and they were sent away from it.

Shouldn’t we stop people from saying mean things?  Yes, we want to provide safe spaces and protect ourselves from hurtful words, but when you let people actually say hateful words and perform hateful actions, you’re “outing” them.  I’d bet the administrators at Southern had no idea they had racist students.  They do now!

We don’t create change by shutting people up.  We create it when there are more of us speaking love louder than their hate.

word count:  235

P.S.  Southern University issued a statement about the incident that really said nothing at all.

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