white supremacy

My response to the poster found today at Truman State U.

As a black person and as the president of College Democrats of Truman State University, I feel that I have a dual responsibility to talk about the personal and political realities of dealing with hate.

I am not afraid of white supremacy or these so-called white supremacists. My identity is my own, I’m proud of it, and I have no intent to shade it or apologize for it to make these racists comfortable.

My grandparents did not struggle for years in the Jim Crow south for me to be afraid today. Myself and others have dealt with worse than an anonymous poster left by insecure cowards. I’ve heard people say the N-word while I was in the room. I’ve had my presence at this university discounted as “affirmative action.” I’ve had people try to affix stereotypes to me and use me as a token to support their own savior complex. I’ve had my entire identity and culture boiled down into the punchline of a joke.

These experiences and others are more common and more damaging than a few posters. We as a people have been dealing with bold white supremacy for years and will continue to. We need to address, in our individual lives, the subtle white supremacy.

It’s easy to tear down those posters. It’s less easy to ask if you’re complicit in a larger problem. Talk to your friends of color, take their experiences seriously, and grow together.


Editor’s note: The poster pictured above was found this morning, March 25, 2019 in the Square in Kirksville, MO. The full text of the poster reads:

“Did you know that Truman trains non-whites to replace you white man? A “Nation of Immigrants” means your time is up.”

The text at the bottom of the poster says that the poster is “brought to you by your local Stormer book club.” 

The College Democrats of Truman State University issued the following statement regarding the poster:

The College Democrats of Truman State University unequivocally condemns the presence of white supremacy in our community.

Kirksville has a thriving immigrant population which has enriched the experience of everyone who calls this place home. We are welcoming to people of all nations, all faiths, and all cultures because we know our diversity is our strength. We have stood together in the face of all manner of obstacles that have threatened this community, including recession, blizzards, droughts, fires, and floods. It is time to come together once again to combat this abhorrent extremist ideology which is rooted in cowardice and hate. We are bigger, we are bolder, and we are stronger than white supremacy or anything else that would seek to break this community.

We will not allow immigrants, people of color, women, the LGBTQ+ community, or anyone who speaks out against white supremacy to be intimidated. We stand with you, because we are you, and we’re all in this together.