Reaction to Black Lives Matter rally at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Story by Benjamin Schoenkin, NewsNetNebraska.
Several hundred students and University of Nebraska-Lincoln community members gathered outside the Nebraska Union on Tuesday, Nov. 19 for a Black Lives Matter rally.
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Juan Franco said he was impressed with the rally.
Listen: “I thought it was great. I am so proud of our students that they had the courage to get up and say what they feel and frankly, we do have to listen. There are something’s that we can do better as a campus, as a community, as a state, as a nation frankly and delighted that the students did it in a very professional and civil way,” Franco said.
Franco said that racism does exist on the UNL campus.
Listen: “If you look at the social media comments that are on there, you know that it’s there so we can either hide from it or say no, it’s there. We need to do something about it,” Franco said.
One of the speakers at the event, Davielle Phillips, a senior architecture major, spoke about his experience at a fraternity party during his freshman year. He went to the party with both African-American and white friends.
Listen: “We got kicked out of the party because they thought we were going to steal something. All we were doing, we were playing beer pong, having a good time, joking around with the other people that were there that weren’t part of our group, but we got kicked out because we got racially profiled and I am just to here to say that those things are not okay, you can’t stereotype everyone you see,” Phillips said.
Young Americans for Liberty at UNL held an event nearby titled “Free Speech Wall at UNL.” Madeline Deneen, vice president of Young Americans for Liberty-UNL, said that her group was there as a response to the Black Lives Matter movement’s view on political correctness.
Listen: “A lot of people who are supporting like #BlackLivesMatter campaign are also super into over sensitizing like speech in general and political correctness which is, it’s a legal way of basically intimidating people to refrain from using their first amendment,” Deneen said.
Phillips said he hopes that one of the outcomes of the Black Lives Matter event is that people consider their actions.
Listen: “I just hope that people would start to think before they do things like they will have a better perspective on how we feel about different things and how other people feel about different things and they won’t post. They won’t go to like YikYak and anonymously post the N-word or anything that is offensive. They will think about what they do before they do it,” Phillips said.
Franco said he plans to sit down with students in the future.
Listen: “We can learn a lot from the students, so we would like to get together with them. They suggested something’s today, probably what we need to do is sit down with them and develop a comprehensive program to address the issues. So, right now I don’t want to speculate, I want to sit with them and see what we have to do,”Franco said.