It was an ugly scene at Kean University in New Jersey last month with everyone on edge. Students were joined by Black Lives Matter activists to protest what they perceived as insufficient attention on the part of the administration to the inherent racism in the system, similar to uprisings seen at campuses around the country. The peaceful protesters were out on the quad getting their message across when a shocking revelation came to light. Someone had gone on social media and made a very explicit threat to show up and kill as many black students as possible, along with warnings that the police would be of no help to them. The president of the university was moved to a brave show of defiance against racial hatred and violence. (NJ.com)
Kean University President Dawood Farahi met informally with student protesters on campus this morning, voicing support and calling an anonymous threatening Tweet apparently aimed at them “despicably racist and unacceptable.”
School officials are investigating who was behind the Twitter account, which was apparently formed Tuesday night in the wake of a small protest march supporting students at the University of Missouri. The tweet threatened to kill black students at Kean.
“Hate will never succeed. It will always fail,” said Farahi, adding that the student demonstrators needed to know that the university “stands behind them when they peacefully use their constitutional rights.”
A stirring message indeed. Hate will always fail in the face of love, unity and a determined effort to achieve freedom and equality. The police were called in to investigate the threat and everyone can rest easy this week because they finally got their man. Er… woman. But she wasn’t exactly the sort to fit the profile of the hate filled racist you might have expected. (Fox 5 NY)
A former Kean University student was charged Tuesday with making fake threats against fellow black students at the New Jersey school, which increased racial tensions and led to heightened security.
Kayla-Simone McKelvey, of Union Township, faces one count of creating a false public alarm, which carries a maximum three- to five-year sentence.
McKelvey, 24, participated in a Nov. 17 rally on racial issues at Kean and then went to a campus library computer and posted anonymous threats on Twitter against black students, the Union County prosecutor’s office said. Investigators said McKelvey then returned to the rally and tried to raise awareness about the threats.
As plots go, this wasn’t exactly the most inspired one in history. First of all, wouldn’t you go a bit further away than the school library to try this? There’s also the question of exactly how seriously anyone was going to take a threat coming from a twitter account created only minutes before with a name which basically translated to “kill all the black kids at Kean.”
I first caught wind of this story at Poor Richard’s News where it’s pointed out that we’ve simply seen too many cases like this to accept them all at face value without a bit of deeper examination.
Not only was it a fake threat of a phony racist hate crime, it came from the former president of the Pan-African Student Union. Honestly, at this point, the thing that amazes me is that faculty and students at any university would even be remotely surprised that the supposed threat or “hate crime” on campus is another phony. There have been so many fakes out there, and most of the ones that aren’t proven fakes aren’t proven acts of racism or hate either.
Perhaps even more poignant is the audible gasp let out by the crowd when the university president reveals the identity of the horrible racist culprit. (Captured in this video from Poor Richard’s)
Sadly, there seems to be a pattern here. I warned during the Mizzou uprising that we might be in for a series of copycat events around the country once the students there were successful in deposing some of the university’s administrators. And in the case of Kean (and perhaps others as well) if you can’t come up with an actual case of racial intolerance, fake it until you make it. Sometimes I really hate being right, but you’ll need to keep your eyes open during the rest of the protests to come. I have a feeling this isn’t the last you’re going to see of this.