University Removes Display Depicting Black Leaders Hanging From Trees

  • 02/04/2020 12:00 AM
  • Source: AAN
  • by: AAN Staff
University Removes Display Depicting Black Leaders Hanging From Trees
Branislav Ondrasik [Public domain]

Michigan State University is apologizing on behalf of an on-campus gift shop that displayed black historical figures in a way that made it look like they were hanging by ropes from a tree.

A university official called the display "inappropriate and insensitive," which included dolls resembling former President Barack Obama, former First Lady Michelle Obama, and abolitionist Harriet Tubman.

Per the New York Post:

“Regardless of the intent of the display, its impact cannot be ignored – people were hurt and offended,” the statement read. “We sincerely apologize to our community members and have immediately removed the display.”

Employees and volunteers at the gift shop will now undergo racial-bias training that highlights the impact of intentional and unintentional prejudice, according to the statement by university spokeswoman Emily Gerkin Guerrant.

“We have work to do, and MSU remains committed to creating a culture that is inclusive and safe for all faculty, staff, students and visitors,” the statement continued. “As we enter Black History Month, it’s important we not only recognize the many contributions of African Americans, but we remember history and confront all bias.”

A black graduate student told the Lansing State Journal that she was offended when she saw the display during a recent jazz concert at the center’s gift shop. Some white historical figures were also depicted, including Abraham Lincoln and Beethoven, but four or five similar trees were adorned with “a lot more” black leaders, she said.

The display controversy coincides with the start of Black History Month.
 Source: AAN
Tags: Issues: Liberal Loon, AAN Exclusive; Categories:

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