OSU: Derogatory terms against Whites 'do not have the same impact' as on minorities
- A Black woman called three White Ohio State University students a racial slur and assaulted them, an act that was later classified as a hate crime by police.
- When public safety included involved the individuals’ race, students were furious that the acts were classified as hate crimes and demanded action.
- OSU Safety Director Monica Moll said that derogatory terms don’t have the same impact on White people as they do on marginalized communities.
After Ohio State University students protested following the university publishing information regarding two Black hate crime suspects, as it is required to do under federal law, it is now attempting to assuage the anger of protesters, saying that "derogatory terms against Whites do not have the same impact as they may to marginalized groups."
As reported by Campus Reform, the university sent out a public safety notice to students on September 3 and mentioned a "hate crime" was committed by two African-American suspects near Ohio State's campus. The races of the suspects, now identified as Jarylle Walker and Tereishia Finney, were mentioned by the university in its initial communication to students, but it did not at first acknowledge the victims' race.
A few days after the initial email was sent, the university revealed that the victims of the crime are White, and that one suspect had punched a student in the face and yelled a racial slur. At the time, University Police Chief Kimberly Spears-McNatt stated, according to The Lantern, that the university is required to report information regarding hate crimes under the federal Jeanne Clery Act, which “requires colleges and universities that receive federal funding to disseminate a public annual security report,” as well as specify policies about crime reporting.
The act requires that colleges and universities report crimes that occur on and around campus.
After students complained and protested outside of the school's administrative offices, OSU Director of Public Safety Monica Moll released a statement explaining that the department recognizes derogatory terms used against White people "do not have the same impact" they do on marginalized groups.
“The chief and I recognize that derogatory terms against whites do not have the same impact as they may to marginalized groups,” Moll told The Lantern. “We’re certainly not trying to say that they carry the same weight.”
OSU Chief of Police Kimberly Spears-McNatt told The Lantern that although she understands the concern.
“Being an African American female and being in law enforcement, I personally take a lot of pride in making sure that we maintain a good relationship with our community,” Spears-McNatt said to The Lantern. “And the officers in OSUPD take that same pride. That’s embedded in our core values. For some members to feel that [I personally] am not concerned about the Black students on campus, that could be the furthest from the truth.”
Campus Reform reached out to OSU, Johnson, Moll, Spears-McNatt, and Kasey for comment, but they did not respond.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @LelaGallery