ACU students and faculty wear white to stand against racism
ABILENE, Texas - Dozens of Abilene Christian University students and faculty dressed in white Friday to stand against racism, but racist tweets turned a day meant for equality into a day of unrest.
This comes after fake parking tickets containing racist language were left on the cars of two students.
Students and faculty wearing white met in front of Moody Coliseum before chapel.
"I thought it was important to show solidarity for the student body in light of the incidents that recently occurred," ACU Assistant English Professor Joseph Stephenson said."I just want to make it very clear to the students that I am with them and I support a diverse campus and a diverse environment. In my classroom there's no tolerance for racism there's no tolerance for division."
"We came together to show the administration and other kids that don't know that this is an issue on campus," said T'Neise Ragland, president of the ACU Black Students' Association. "You have to walk through us, so you have to see us, you have to acknowledge us because we're just not being acknowledged."
During chapel, ACU Executive Vice President Dr. Allison Garrett told everyone why she wore white.
"We're wearing white to remember Dr. Martin Luther King and his legacy, but also to stand in solidarity against racism and injustice," Garrett said.
Ragland, the Black Students' Association president, said Garrett had a private meeting with her Thursday, but the way Garrett addressed the issue at chapel Friday upset her.
"I actually was very disheartened after the vice president gave her statement, because I feel like it wasn't from the right place," Ragland said. "I feel like she wore white and she acted like she was on board with us because it was a good play from the school. It wasn't a true show of we are here supporting you guys and your movement. It was more of a way to save face."
Ragland said what happened after chapel was even more upsetting.
Racist pictures containing the ACU logo started showing up on twitter.
University officials said they looked into it and the tweets did not come from a student and the university will take legal action against the individual for using their brand.
"We have identified the author of the highly offensive tweets to be an African American former student. We are continuing to pursue the matter," ACU Police Chief Jimmy Ellison said.
Ellison said they are still interviewing potential witnesses and looking for any clues as to who was responsible for the fake ticket investigation.