Over the past two weeks I have published articles about the racial injustices I witnessed while in higher education as an NCAA coach and the first step towards a solution. After publishing last week’s article, Racism in Higher Education, NCAA Athletics, & NCAA Gymnastics Part 2, I noticed an issue with certain institutions purposely not stating “Black Lives Matter.”
The first step towards a solution, is for universities to state, “Black Lives Matter,” and show support to the movement on all levels from President down to the bottom, and every administrator in between. Simply being against racism is not enough anymore.
There are plenty of institutions of higher education that are not handling this social injustice the right way, below are examples of universities that are refusing to state “Black Lives Matter.”
Tennessee Tech University has made only one statement regarding the racial injustices on each the official university and athletics Instagram accounts.
The comments in the comment section of the following post are racist and insensitive, Tennessee Tech University has not denounced these comments.
Murray State University has been called out by their follower’s in this latest Juneteenth post.
Murray State University has not addressed the Black Lives Matter movement in any of their posts on the official Instagram account of the university or the athletics department. This has also been cross checked with their twitter accounts and university websites.
Belmont University has not made any other statements about the racial injustices besides the one above.
University of Tennessee-Martin Athletics refuses to state, “Black Lives Matter” in their sole statement on racial injustices, along with their official university Instagram account.
Austin Peay University Athletics has made only two posts on the racial injustices, one is a black box and the second is a Juneteenth post. The official university Instagram account has not made any posts about the racial injustices going on in this country.
The majority of Conference USA member institutions, are stating, “Black Lives Matter” with some making multiple posts regarding the movement. Except, University of North Texas has made one statement on their official Instagram with a black square and nothing else. You can read the despair in the comment section by their followers and students.
Many universities are refusing to state, “Black Lives Matter.” In my opinion, they are afraid of the impact to their bottom dollar from donors. Some of the examples above are from institutions in smaller towns in the southern portion of the United States, that are known to have historical roots tied to racism. Board of Directors, Presidents, and Administrators are scared to make a statement that might be viewed as political, when this is NOT a political issue, but a human rights issue. Leaders of these institutions are more worried about losing donation dollars from donors, that are against the Black Lives Matter movement, and are racist, rather than actively denouncing racism and showing active support to students.
Leaders in higher education need to do the right thing and take a stand as ANTI-RACIST and publicly support the Black Lives Matter movement. There are students that do not feel supported in this movement by their institutions and they are making it known in the comment sections on the posts above. Change needs to happen.
Institutions of higher education are microcosms of our society, and to make a true change in society, they need to actively support and make progress in racial injustices. By not making active progress, they are complicit in continuing the systemic racism in this country.
Take a note out the books from the likes of USC, UCLA, Temple University, Ohio State University, University of Minnesota, and New York University. These are models of the way institutions of higher education should handle social injustices within society, like the Black Lives Matter movement.
Listen, Support, & Educate.