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Cornell Black Students group apologizes for complaining about African and Caribbean students

Cornell Black Students group apologizes for complaining about African and Caribbean students

Complaint about over-representation by “international or first-generation African or Caribbean students” creates backlash.

Cornell University’s campus in Ithaca, NY, is in turmoil after two incidents, as I first reported in mid-September.

In one incident, a student shouted “build a wall” near the Latino Living Center. At least two reports (Campus Reform and The New American) claim the student was Hispanic and said it to mock Trump. The Cornell administration has declined to confirm or deny those reports, referring me instead to prior general statements from university officials. In a second incident, one or more students who got into a fight off campus with a black student called him the “N” word.

The campus reaction has been protests by a group calling itself Black Students United (BSU), a “Take a Knee” protest organized by a faculty group, and the formation of a presidential task force charged with exploring, among other things, “legal mechanisms [which] are available to the university to prevent, address and counter situations in which protected expression on campus is harmful to those vulnerable to its effects.”

BSU presented Cornell’s president with a six-page list of demands, a copy of which originally was obtained by the Cornell Sun. In my post, Cornell Black Students group issues 6-page list of demands, I called attention to an aspect of the demand list that had not received much attention, calling on the administration to address the alleged over-representation of African and Caribbean black students:

Most interesting, and perhaps reflecting a split in the black student community, the group demands specific extra help for non-immigrant blacks:

We demand that Cornell Admissions to come up with a plan to actively increase the presence of underrepresented Black students on this campus. We define underrepresented Black students as Black Americans who have several generations (more than two) in this country.

The Black student population at Cornell disproportionately represents international or first-generation African or Caribbean students. While these students have a right to flourish at Cornell, there is a lack of investment in Black students whose families were affected directly by the African Holocaust in America. Cornell must work to actively support students whose families have been impacted for generations by white supremacy and American fascism.”

My report on the criticism by BSU of African and Caribbean students was picked up by the Daily Caller, without crediting me or linking back, even though they used the pdf. of the Demands I posted. (They recently added a mention.) That Daily Caller story then went viral, with tens of thousands of Facebook shares and was picked up at many other websites, crediting The Daily Caller for the story.

BSU came under substantial criticism for what was perceived as an attack on other black students, including in numerous YouTube and other videos, such as these:

The attack in the Demands on African and Caribbean black students also apparently caused a great deal of turmoil among the black community at Cornell. That’s understandable.

One student at Cornell wrote a column in The Cornell Sun, Combating White Supremacy Should Not Entail Throwing Other Black Students Under The Bus:

While advocating for increases in admissions of African American students is pertinent and should be a priority for all universities, insinuating that Cornell is overrun with foreign and first generation black students and that they are taking away the spots of American black students suggests that there are only a set number of spots for folks with melanin, a quota that should only be filled by a certain kind of black person. The kind of black students who should be here, as per BSU’s definition, are “Black Americans who have several generations (more than two) in this country.” Limiting the definition of “black” to only American students is treading xenophobic waters and unwittingly bolsters the misconception that black students are only admitted into Cornell because they are black. It implies that those not “black enough” have no right to be here, even if they have the qualifications to earn their admission.

Moreover, claiming that there are a disproportionate amount of Africans at Cornell is simply inaccurate. In data published by the International Students and Scholars Office Annual Statistics for 2016-2017, African students were reported to make up less than 3.1% of the student body. This means that approximately 155 African students attend Cornell in a given year (99 undergraduate and 43 graduate, out of a total of 14,315 undergraduate and 5,265 graduate students). If someone put all the African students admitted in a given year in one room, they would not come close to reaching the carrying capacity of Baker Lab. In fact, African students are among the least represented groups at Cornell.

The prevailing narrative in America right now surrounding non-American citizens is that they are “taking all the jobs.” Has this extended to the idea that foreigners are “taking all the university spots”? ….

Another Cornell student also wrote in The Cornell Sun of the divide:

I believe African/Caribbean students are taking up a lot of space on this matter. The only public discourse that I’ve seen published are from these students. As an African American whose family has been in the Americas since the start of Transatlantic slavery, my opinion is equally valid, and so I’ll share on my experiences.

The voice of African American Black students are stifled. We are labeled as “Just Black” on campus, and our Blackness is constantly called into question. There is a clear divide in the Pan-African Black community and no one wants to talk about it….

The controversy even found its way into Inside Higher Education, which asked, Who Counts as a Black Student?

The Cornell Sun reports on the backlash:

BSU argued in the demands that although international or first generation Caribbean and African students have “a right to flourish” at the University, “Cornell must work to actively support students whose families have been impacted for generations by white supremacy and American fascism.”

“There is a lack of investment in Black students whose families were affected directly by the African Holocaust in America,” the original demand said.

This was considered contradictory by many people both on and off campus.

“Black Student Group Complains Ivy League School Is Letting In Too Many African Students” read a headline from The Daily Caller.

Similar articles critical of the demand also ran in the Atlanta Black Star and Townhall.

Here is the statement posted by Cornell Black Students United on Facebook (emphasis added):

Following a bias incident in September where a Black Cornell University student was physically assaulted by a white student and verbally attacked by others because of his race, Black Students United (BSU) at Cornell organized as a community and prepared a list of demands that we delivered to Cornell’s president Martha Pollack. One of our demands has received a lot of attention and has been the subject of ongoing debate and discussion on and off our campus. The purpose of the demand was specifically to address the need for an increased presence of underrepresented Black American students at Cornell.

However, upon further reflection and contemplation, we understand both the complexity and contentious nature of our statement, as well as the frustration and anger that was felt by our community as a consequence of our demand. We apologize for the delay in response and any conflicting feelings this demand may have garnered from the communities we represent. Our mission aims to support all members of the African Diaspora both nationally and internationally, as we are a board comprised of Africans, Caribbeans, and Black Americans. We have and continue to reach out to African and Caribbean groups on campus in the spirit of dialogue and discussion surrounding this topic.

Finally, we hope to rebuild any trust we may have lost from our community members and we will continue to fight for the expansion of opportunities for all of our communities. Please join us next weekend as our alumni return to campus for Homecoming and we host our first community discussion around this issue.

What becomes of the protests and the presidential task force remains to be seen.

There already have been the predictable responses from the administration, which is to hire more administrators. The presidential task force, based on the language in the announcements so far, appears to be more of the same verbiage we’ve seen for a long time on “diversity and inclusiveness.” I doubt the administration and the campus have the courage to seriously consider whether the quasi-religious obsession with diversity initiatives actually produces more harm than good.

The split in the Cornell black community laid bare by the Cornell Black Student United statement on African and Caribbean students suggests that a simplistic approach to campus problems will not work.


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“African Holocaust in America”

You mean the one conducted by Planned Parenthood?

    Walker Evans in reply to pfg. | October 14, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    When and where did this ‘holocaust’ take place? My history classes never mentioned any such event. Okay, just did a ‘net search and still can’t find a reference; perhaps like most network news this should be considered fake history? Historical revisionism perhaps?

    austin in reply to pfg. | October 14, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    support planned parenthood

    establish centers all over

    Milwaukee in reply to pfg. | October 14, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    “African Holocaust in America”

    This is the one started by President Lyndon Baines Johnson, a.k.a. as the “War on Poverty” as he strove to give us a “Great Society”. Before 1965 the Black community in the United States of America led the White community in key statistics such as: marriage rate, divorce rate, and rate of out-of-wedlock births. Since the War on Poverty began the poverty rate in this country has gone up. Something like 85% of the men in maximum prison grew up without their father.

    Just as the homicide rates for blacks as victims and perpetrators are much worse than for whites, so too black mothers are much more likely to abort their unborn child.

Didn’t Orwell make an observation about the hierarchy of equality in the barnyard?

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | October 14, 2017 at 12:23 pm

They probably still use the infamous “darker than a grocery bag test.”

There already have been the predictable responses from the administration, which is to hire more administrators.

So, are there more administrators than students, yet? If not, it’s only a matter of time.

A future college recruiting point:”We have the highest ratio of administrators to students in the country. At least two administrators for every student. We take care of all your SJW needs!”

“African American Black students – our Blackness is constantly called into question …”

By who?

Well , they did sell the “American “ Blacks into the slave trade way back when…
They should be forced to admit it and pay for it…just saying

Categorized by ethnicity and/or national origin, what is the percentage of student who actually graduate? I would also be curious as to the areas of study in which the degrees were earned. If this info is available on line, I would appreciate being given the web addresses.

Let’s ask an “uncomfortable” question.

1. How many of these students pay their own way?

2. How many pay part of the cost?

3. How many pay nothing and get paid to show up?

My guess is 3 is the answer to most of the complainers.

That’s the problem with “divide and conquer” … it doesn’t know when to stop.

Rather, the fun is just beginning. Just wait until they realize that African tribes hate each other, too. Of course the American race-hustling industry will deny that “tribes” exist, but native Africans know better.

Racism as a way of life seems to have no future. Sure, it’s rosy now, while Affirmative Action allows the fantasy that its beneficiaries “have the qualifications to earn their admission.” But it can’t survive contact with reality.

I don’t mean to sound unsympathetic. Being trapped in the racist mind-set must be a pretty dismal way to go through life.

Interesting that they define Black Americans as the generations that have been victimized by the bigotry of low expectations.

Next, tell attack black immigrants who are working too fast and hard.

The more things change…

Progressive identity politics divides African American students from other blacks! I wouldn’t be surprised if the non-American blacks are glad of it. They probably don’t want to be associated with addle-headed, entitled brats who are more interested in “activism” than getting an education (worth a damn) and graduating to find a good job. If I were one of them, I’d be working to maintain the divide.

suggests that there are only a set number of spots for folks with melanin, a quota

Um, don’t the colleges openly admit that? Haven’t they gone to the Supreme Court to defend the practice?

unwittingly bolsters the misconception that black students are only admitted into Cornell because they are black.

Who doubts that?

I have to say it again: The most racist people I know are American blacks.

around 40 years ago I had an Administrative Asst, who was Caribbean black. She spoke perfect Queen’s English and had very refined persona. She was also extremely critical of African-Americans

Professor, this column by Sarah Hoyt over at PJM is timely: