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Black Student Union, University respond to racially charged Tweets

A person with the Twitter handle @PatFalcon tweeted racially charged messages at the University’s Black Student Union, suggesting the group was prejudice against white people around 12 a.m. Monday.

The tweets suggested BSU was a hate group targeting whites, said Emily Monago, director of Multicultural Affairs.

Kevin Lewis, president of BSU said its public relations chair was on its Twitter this morning when he noticed the tweets.

Messages read, “Fighting the white man with all my friends” at @BSU_BGSU with the following hashtags: #blackpride and #embracethehate. Other tweets read, “Am I the only one excited for the race war?” and “Our goal is to kill all whites.”

The profile photo on the account is a white unidentified male.

“I have no idea where this came from,” Lewis said. “It came out of nowhere, really.”

The tweets were in response to tweets from BSU’s account announcing the keynote speaker Monday night on diversity.

BSU responded, tweeting at the person, “No one is fighting the white man, our organization is about getting equity for blacks, not getting even with white people.”

BSU will further meet to develop a continuous response, said Dalton Jones, assistant professor in the Ethnic Studies Department and adviser of BSU.

The tweets came to the University’s attention after a student submitted a report to the Not In Our Town webpage, Monago said.

Not in Our Town is a campaign that was started this past spring to promote diversity and fight intolerance. The campaign began after several students tweeted racially charged messages directed at the black community.

“It just reinforces what we learned from last year,” Jones said. “It’s a shame that semester after semester, black students, students of color and other minority members of our community, our LGBT brothers and sisters, continue to face this ignorance.”

“We clearly have a lot more work to do that is going to require more than just words from the administration.”

Although the tweets were negative, student reactions were pushing for positivity.

“I was pretty impressed with [students] since we blasted the Not In Our Town hashtag,” Lewis said. “Everyone was reminding that we are not here for acts of intolerance.”

The University responded not only on Twitter, but other social media reaffirming their campaign and its central message of inclusion of all cultures.

Monago’s office, along with the Office of Equity and Diversity and the BSU, responded as soon as they became aware of the messages.

“[We want] to let the community know that Bowling Green State University doesn’t have any multicultural organizations that are hate groups or that promote intolerance,” she said. “We do encourage every student to participate if any group is of interest to them.”

The next step for BSU is to having more presence on campus in order to spread their message of Not In Our Town.

“We already contacted University officials and Report It!,” Lewis said. “We want to inform everyone and we see so many organizations and students are supporting us.”

While it’s a “small group” that’s perpetuating this attitude, Jones said, it’s a still something that needs to be addressed.

“Its a small, yet not insignificant sector,” he said. “What it tells us is, sadly, a sector of this University still needs to be educated.”

Jones spoke of the “positive signs” of diversity and inclusion on campus, referencing the level of diversity present at the University and the successes of Not In Our Town. But, he said, there is still work to be done.

“We’ve shown a lot of growth in the last few years,” Jones said. “This is not a problem that’s going to go away on its own.”

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