Thuy-Linh Dang, Staff Writer
On Wednesday night, Jennine Capó Crucet was invited to speak at a lecture about her 2015 book, Make Your Home Among Strangers, on Georgia Southern University’s Statesboro Campus. The question and answer session got heated between the First Year Experience (FYE) students and Crucet.
“I noticed that you made a lot of generalizations about the majority of white people being privileged,” one student said during the Q&A session, “What makes you believe that it’s okay to come to a college campus, like this, when we are supposed to be promoting diversity on this campus, which is what we’re taught. I don’t understand what the purpose of this was.”
The upset FYE students walked out on Crucet’s lecture and later proceeded to burn her book outside of the Eagle Village.
Following Wednesday night’s incident, Nora Cook, a senior in Professional Communications and Gender Studies, spent her Friday protesting outside of the Student Union on the incident.
“I think it’s exemplary of the culture that’s being fostered on the Statesboro campus. It’s a culture that puts white people and white feelings above the safety of marginalized community. I think it’s even more hurtful that this happened during Latinx history month. A month where we’re supposed to be allowing Latinx people to celebrate and explore their heritage. I think that it is also exemplary of the ineffectiveness of the diversity and inclusivity program that we have because it focused so much on branding and not about education or action. So far, the only comments we’ve seen is from the Marketing Director, who I don’t think is qualified to be making any comments on this event especially referring to the consequences or lack thereof that the students involved in the book burning will be receiving and so far, there is still no response from the president or the higher administration regarding this incident. Even though we just spent $100,000 on a man to tell us exactly how to deal with this diversity/point as its referenced, so I have a lot of feelings. Through inaction, they’re supporting racism and allowing it to thrive. This is just, it seems like they’re just using any sort of action as just a PR stunt and a Band-Aid so they can just move on and not doing any actual effective actions to protect students or staff… I’d like to add in regards to people not knowing: I’m not surprised because Georgia Southern has shown a pattern of attempting to keep these types of racial incidents quiet. I thank the George-Anne and those on twitter for bringing this violence to light,” Cook said when asked about her thoughts and feelings on the book burning incident.
“I’m using my white protection to speak truth to power even though I’ve already had two white boys basically come and try and intimidate me,” said Cook, “They didn’t believe racism was a thing still because they haven’t experienced it and because they have black and Mexican friends. […] There are so many micro aggressions and nuances to it that white people have to unlearn.”