What does it mean when a student at OU responds to an invitation to contribute to a journalistic endeavor with an accusation of race baiting when the content of the articles have not been published yet?*
To say “you are race baiting” is an attempt to stop a conversation before it even begins. That is not what we are here at the university to do. This email was an attempt to silence someone so that the young man did not have to think critically about a subject that he was uncomfortable with.
OU has a problem. We know this because we have experienced public racists events, from the SAE chants to the lynching calendar on GroupMe. We also know that racism is a problem for students in the classroom from research we have done on this campus. We have heard their stories about microaggressions from faculty and their peers. We believe them when they tell us about racist comments they face. We listen to them when they tell us they worry about their safety.
- Resist the urge to respond in a way that ends a conversation before it begins.
- Listen to your fellow students when they talk about their experiences of racism.
- Be respectful, be kind, and be open to learning something you do not know.
- Racism is real and it is at OU.
You are University of Oklahoma students and you have an obligation to engage in dialogue that makes this world a better place.
* When we sent out a message on OUMM to recruit contributors for this edition of OU Forum, we received an email from a male student that read, “ You guys are absolute race baiters and provocateurs.”