Friday, October 15, 2010

Racial Profiling at Rhodes

Many students of the African American community at Rhodes have expressed their concerns about campus safety regarding their visitors that come on campus. Not only do some officers invade the privacy of some students, keeping track of who comes on campus to see them and later putting the student on the spot and sometimes the visitor—which is not of their concern—there have also been times where students have complained of having to walk from their rooms to the front gate in order for their visitors to be allowed on campus, and this is mainly visitors of color. One biracial student expressed that campus safety waves his mother, who is white, right through the entrance, but his father, who is black, has to come all the way to the front to prove that that is his father. And on other occasions where students have groups of friends coming on campus, they have to come up front and pick their guests up. Not to say that every officer does this, but there have select officers that show that pattern (I expressed my concern about one of the officers, and gladly he is no longer here, but that was only because on numerous occasions he proved to be very unfriendly) If this is really the case, I believe that they do this in order to keep their job, though it isn’t fair. Just think about it—what if something happens on campus and it is caused by a student of color who does not attend this predominately white institution? You definitely don’t want to be that officer that let them on campus. That would cause an even larger uproar than it would if it were a white student. I feel as if a white student could come on campus and say, “hey I forgot my ID”, be given a warning to bring it next time and truck along, but because we have a smaller population, stand out, and are more known among the staff at Rhodes there is no way that one could do that and get away with it. So if this is the case there should be equal treatment among guests here at Rhodes should be the same, you take name of the student and the residence and be on your way. I don’t believe that every black person that comes on campus is trouble, so unless their instincts are really kicking in then it shouldn’t be a problem letting people on this campus.
I remember during my freshman year there was a NPHC probate where mainly black students attended. I guess students expressed their concerns about large gangs of black people roaming outside, ones that they’d never seen (I guarantee you they know 95% of our faces) and said that all students that did not attend Rhodes should leave--most of them were students at different universities.

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