Arizona State Rep. Jake Hoffman (R-Queen Creek) and 19 other legislators issued a statement following a video that went viral of three black students kicking two white students out of Arizona State University’s multicultural center. They demanded accountability and threatened to withhold funding from the university.
They announced, “It has come to light following the racially-motivated harassment of two students and their subsequent removal from one of the campus’ study facilities that ASU has allowed a culture of institutionalized racism and neo-segregation to take hold on its campus. The racially-charged removal of these students from the multicultural center begs the question of why Arizonans are being forced to spend tens, potentially hundreds, of millions of their hard-earned tax dollars on a building at a public university that some of our citizens are not allowed to use?”
Hoffman is a member of the House Appropriations Committee, and concluded that he would “get to the bottom of this and take the appropriate action in the upcoming budget. Not one penny of taxpayer money should be appropriated to a public institution that in any way enables racism or neo-segregation. Period.”
ASU said it is investigating the incident. The angry students may have been “triggered” by a sticker on the laptop belonging to one of the white males, which said “Police Lives Matter,” and the slogan on the other white male’s shirt, which said “Did not vote for Biden.” They told the two young men, “You’re making this space uncomfortable” and “white is not a culture.” They said the Police Lives Matter sticker was racist.
One of the three told the students to leave, and another remarked, “This white man thinks he can take up our space, and this is why we need a multicultural space, because they think they can get away with this sh*t.” One of the two males packs up and leaves, and the other one stands up and looks like he might have been about to leave too.
A fundraiser was started for the harassed students on GoFundMe — one of the students mentioned in the video that he works 60 hours a week to support himself and his tuition, explaining that he’s not entitled — but GoFundMe removed it, refunding the money back to the donors. The company said it violated their “prohibited conduct policy,” which bans content that GoFundMe finds to be “in support of hate, violence, harassment, bullying, discrimination, terrorism, or intolerance of any kind.”
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Rachel Alexander is a reporter at The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Rachel on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].