Race Relations on Campus Database

Periodically, JBHE Weekly Bulletin will publish a selection of racial incidents that have occurred on the campuses of colleges and universities. Here are the latest incidents:

• Nine former employees of the athletic department at Auburn University in Alabama have filed a federal race discrimination lawsuit against the educational institution. Ten of 11 employees who lost their jobs in a department reorganization are black. (Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, 3-25-11)

• Two signs using a racial slur directed against President Obama were found on the campus of the University of Kentucky. One sign was placed on a door at the law school. Another sign, that was placed on a bus shelter, read, “How Do You Spell Nigger? OBAMA.” (Lexington Herald-Leader, 3-25-11)

• Two black students at California University of Pennsylvania were arrested on assault charges after a violent incident outside a restaurant. A white man said he heard one of the two black students say he was going to hit the first white person he saw. The white man was then punched in the face and kicked when he fell to the ground. (Pittsburgh Tribune Review, 3-24-11)

• Racial slurs directed against African Americans were written on several message boards in a dormitory on the campus of Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania. There have been several similar incidents on the Lafayette campus this semester.

• The University of Iowa announced that it was investigating three separate incidents in which black students were verbally assaulted with racial slurs. The incidents took place near a dormitory on campus. (Associated Press, 4-20-11)

• A black officer of the Harvard University Police Department has filed a federal race discrimination lawsuit against the university. The officer claims that he was routinely passed over for promotions. The officer also alleges that his superiors frequently made racist remarks about blacks and Latinos. (Associated Press, 4-20-11)

• A group of African Americans who are former student athletes at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, claims that the university enforces its honor policy more severely on black athletes. The group states that of the 70 athletes who have been investigated or punished since 1993, 54 were black. The university strongly denies that race is a factor in its disciplinary actions involving the honor code. (Salt Lake Tribune, 4-24-11)

• A white man threw a beer at a car of a minority student on the campus of Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. The white man shouted, “Get off our campus.” When the victim responded, “I’m a student here, idiot,” his attacker said, “Sure you are, nigger.” (Hartford Courant, 4-25-11)

• The editor-in-chief of the student newspaper at the University of New Mexico apologized for an editorial cartoon depicting President Obama holding up the head of a dead Osama bin Laden. In the cartoon, the president appeared to be depicted as a monkey.