University of Florida Apologizes For RACIST GRADUATION Ceremony | What’s Trending Now!

University of Florida Apologizes For RACIST GRADUATION Ceremony | What’s Trending Now!

October 20, 2019 61 By Stanley Isaacs


President of the University of Florida
has apologized for a graduation ceremony in which graduating students,
predominantly black, were aggressively pushed offstage. Hey, you’re watching
What’s Trending. I’m Kale Hills. Subscribe for more trending and social
media news every day. Several of the students were performing choreographed
dances popular in their fraternities and sororities. In general, I don’t think I’ve ever been
handled in that manner, not even by my parents. It’s kind of embarrassing, kind of degrading. The
students reportedly being rushed off the stage for taking too long, but the
university now facing backlash accused of targeting only black students at the
ceremony. The faculty member on stage is called a “platform marshall” and his job,
according to the university, was to “monitor the flow” of graduates. It seems
like he thinks monitoring the flow of graduates means aggressively moving them
out of the way. It’s easy to see that he takes his job very seriously. And in case
you think it’s selective editing or camera placement, the view isn’t much
better from the stands where the faculty member is audibly booed. One of the students, Nafeesah Attah, said she
was hurt that her planned celebration was interrupted. I kind of planned what I
wanted to do on the stage to celebrate my story and all the hard work I’ve done
at the University of Florida, but I was instantly like blocked by one of the
officials on stage. The university’s president W. Kent Fuchs took to Twitter to
apologize. He wrote: “During one of this weekend’s
commencement ceremonies, we were inappropriately aggressive in rushing
students across the stage. I personally apologize, and am reaching out to the
students involved. The practice has been halted for all future ceremonies, and we
will work to make sure all graduating students know we are proud of their
achievements and celebrate with them their graduation.” Oliver Telusma, one of the more aggressively-handled students at the ceremony, said he
received a voice mail from Mr. Fox, but has not yet called back. The unidentified
faculty member in the video has been placed on paid administrative leave.
President Fuchs also posted a video to YouTube further apologizing for the
incident. And I’m communicating with all of you to apologize personally, and
secondly to apologize on behalf of the University. To apologize for the fact
that we didn’t provide a commencement in which all students felt that they were…
had the opportunity to to be honored and to celebrate. He says he’s asked the
university’s vice president and student body president to form a task force
looking at ways to improve the commencement ceremonies. Ah, of course. The
best way to handle any problem. Bureaucracy. I don’t know if we really
need to create a task force to address this situation. I think the simplest
solution is just to not push people off the stage. Am I the president now? There’s
a bit of debate online about whether or not the incidents were racially
motivated. Was it just a coincidence that the students who were most aggressively
handled were students of color? The UF Black Student Union released a statement
that says: “Although students of multiple identities experienced this aggression
during a milestone accomplishment for themselves, we urge everyone to
acknowledge the hostile environment created for black
students who rightly showed excitement.” And the university itself has admitted
as much. They said: “These actions disproportionately affected students of
color and are not in line with UF’s stated institutional values.” But apology or no,
Oliver Telusma must said the memory of what happened won’t fade for him or his
family. And other students are also not forgetting the incident. Chris Garcia-Wilde, a student who walked amidst others who were aggressively-handled, tweeted: “We
want him fired. He’s racist and violent, and shouldn’t be around students.” There
are also concerns that what happened at the ceremony are just symptoms of larger
racial issues on UF’s campus. Just in the last few years, a noose was found in a
classroom, a student had Black History Month decorations torn down, and a man
rode a bike around campus with a swastika on his arm. So, President Fuch’s
message, though conciliatory and respectful, may not address the overall
problem in a way students of color will appreciate. A bit of a tangent here, but
President Fuchs has previously made some very concerted efforts to show UF
students that he gets them. Here he is in a promotional video called: “Memes Look
Fun”. I gave Snapchat a try. Maybe I could give Vine a try. Maybe not. Memes look fun.
Okay. The whole thing? Maybe cinnamon isn’t your thing. That
video also features Fuchs recreating “I Like Turtles” kid as well as Salt Bae.
Does the Memes Look Fun video have anything at all to do with the
commencement controversy? No. Is it dumb and hilarious? Yes.
Will the president re-enacting Charlie Bit My Finger help allay fears of a
hostile environment for students of color? Probably not. What do you guys
think? Is the school actually doing enough to address the incident? Let us
know in the comments and for more stories like this head over to whatstrending.com.