Stu­dents burn book from Neb. nov­el­ist

Latina au­thor’s talk on white priv­i­lege angers some Ge­or­gia res­i­dents

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - NATION & WORLD - By Alex Hor­ton

The white stu­dents gath­ered around the fire, spec­u­lat­ing why parts of the book were not al­ready en­gulfed in flames.

“It’s a hard cover!” shouts one male stu­dent in a video amid laughs as ripped­out pages burn, torn from a novel writ­ten by a His­panic au­thor who had sug­gested white peo­ple are treated dif­fer­ently in so­ci­ety.

That an­gered some stu­dents at Ge­or­gia South­ern Univer­sity.

In re­sponse to Jen­nine Capó Crucet’s talk on the States­boro, Ge­or­gia, cam­pus last week, where she fo­cused her dis­cus­sion on white priv­i­lege, stu­dents gath­ered at a grill and torched her novel “Make Your Home Among Strangers” — about a first-gen­er­a­tion Cuban Amer­i­can woman strug­gling to nav­i­gate a mostly white elite col­lege.

The ten­sion be­gan at a ques­tion-an­dan­swer ses­sion fol­low­ing the talk, the univer­sity’s stu­dent news­pa­per the Ge­orge-Anne re­ported.

“What makes you be­lieve that it’s OK to come to a col­lege cam­pus, like this, when we are sup­posed to be pro­mot­ing di­ver­sity on this cam­pus, which is what we’re taught,” one stu­dent said at the mi­cro­phone, the pa­per re­ported. “I don’t un­der­stand what the pur­pose of this was.”

Capó re­sponded that white priv­i­lege was ev­i­dent within the ques­tion it­self.

“What’s so heart­break­ing for me and what is so dif­fi­cult in this mo­ment right now is to lit­er­ally have read a talk about this ex­act mo­ment hap­pen­ing and it’s hap­pen­ing again. That is why a dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence, the white ex­pe­ri­ence, is cen­tered in this talk,” she said.

Capó, an as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor at the Univer­sity of Ne­braska, did not re­turn a re­quest for com­ment.

Fol­low­ing the event, Capó praised some of the “very amaz­ing, bril­liant stu­dents” she met. “At the sign­ing, we hugged & cried,” she tweeted. “I’m happy to know them and also le­git wor­ried for their safety.”

Other stu­dents had a dif­fer­ent re­ac­tion. Sev­eral burned copies of her novel, us­ing pho­tos and videos to troll her on Twit­ter. One stu­dent sent a photo of ripped pages to Capó over Twit­ter.

“En­joy this pic­ture of your book!” a tweet cap­tured by the Ge­orge-Anne said.

That tweet and oth­ers col­lected by the pa­per were later deleted.

“While it’s within the stu­dents’ First Amend­ment rights, book burn­ing does not align with Ge­or­gia South­ern’s values nor does it en­cour­age the civil dis­course and de­bate of ideas,” the univer­sity said in a state­ment.

Other stu­dents were dis­mayed over the book burn­ing, a vi­o­lent re­jec­tion of speech most no­to­ri­ously as­so­ci­ated with Nazi Ger­many.

“It makes me feel like we are be­ing rep­re­sented re­ally badly,” Car­lin Blalock, a fresh­man mu­sic ed­u­ca­tion stu­dent, told the Ge­orge-Anne.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.