Black Students at Towson Give Their Stance on Why Yik Yak Contines to be Racist

By Jasmine C. Dobbins

It is evident that race is an extremely prominent issue on the infamous app Yik Yak. Many races and cultures are attacked on a daily basis by anonymous users, and black student users on Towson’s campus are just some beyond the millions of people that are unfortunately victims of this epidemic.

Towson may be known for being one of the most diverse college campuses in Maryland, but despite the combination of different races and people of different backgrounds, racism is something that has been an ongoing issue among its students.

Efforts have been made by Towson’s administration to make black students feel as though they have the same opportunities and privileges as white students. One includes the “Black Lives Matter” event where a panel of three black activists came together to talk in front of a group of Towson students of different races about the true meaning behind the phrase.

However, there was controversy around the fact that Towson’s Greek life, which includes a majority of Caucasian students who were there to gain more points for their sororities/fraternities, walked out before the event was even over.

And this goes to show that there is still plenty of work to be done when it comes to racial lines and the respect we have for each other and our cultures. There are bigger issues that administration may not necessarily be aware of, and one of the most relevant is racism through Yik Yak.

“I have never been personally attacked on the app, but I have been offended by things other people have said. There was one yak I saw that said blacks should just conform to America’s society or stop complaining about it and if they didn’t then they should go back to Africa. I thought that was ridiculous,” sophomore Kamry Bennet, 19, said.

Bennet also had her own her ideas of why racism is still something Towson continues to struggle with despite the progression of our country on the topic.

“People continue to be so close minded despite the fact that we live on such a diverse campus. It’s like they fail to learn about other cultures different from their own. They’re still living in a box that includes only their world  and people like them,” Bennet said.

Despite the fact that Towson works to encourage equality among races and students of other cultures, and they interact with each other throughout the day, every race is guilty of socializing in circles where everyone looks more like them.

“I don’t wanna say that it represents Towson as whole and our stance on race. I feel like you’re going to encounter racist, ignorant people wherever you go. I do feel like it does show that we have a long way to go as a generation in regards to race though.” Bennet stated.

 “People are still so caught up in things they hear their parents say, and it’s like they’re afraid to take their own stance and break the mold. It’s now our responsibility to make a difference,”  Bennet went on to say.

There are features that have been put into effect to ensure that racial slurs are not as often affiliated with the app, but this does not change the mindset of the people that continue to create these offensive posts.

“We should make others more aware of the issue, and we should stand up as a race and bring awareness to those outside of the black community on campus. People should be made aware of  the harm this is causing others and maybe that sense of guilt will force them to look outside of themselves and change their way of thinking,” Bennet said.

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