- Netflix’s ‘Music Teacher’ is another lifeless melodrama about an emotionally illiterate man Today 6:45 AM
- 3 things we saw at the ‘Avengers: Endgame’ premiere Today 6:30 AM
- How to use Google Home Hub as a digital photo frame Today 6:00 AM
- How to watch Netflix on Apple devices without AirPlay support Today 5:00 AM
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate player’s trans flag removed for being ‘political’ Monday 7:37 PM
- Does Donald Trump Jr. know what American soldiers do? Monday 7:17 PM
- Sophie Turner has a hot take on Arya’s ‘Game of Thrones’ sex scene Monday 6:50 PM
- Parked Tesla Model S bursts into flames in shocking video Monday 3:12 PM
- Fortnite is getting an Avengers Endgame event Monday 2:44 PM
- The living are facing the end of the world in the latest ‘Game of Thrones’ Monday 2:37 PM
- The best Korean beauty toners for your skincare routine Monday 2:33 PM
- Warren’s plan to cancel student debt stimulates the bad-take economy Monday 2:27 PM
- Video shows Easter Bunny punching man on sidewalk Monday 2:09 PM
- The 7 best lubes for when you wanna do butt stuff Monday 2:00 PM
- 11 best sex toys under $35 to blow your mind Monday 1:30 PM
University officials apologize after Black students were manhandled at graduation
The university president says they’ve ended this ‘practice’—but why was it done to begin with?
A University of Florida staff member manhandled several graduating Black students during their commencement ceremony on Saturday, prompting outrage online and an apology from the university’s president.
According to footage taken at the commencement ceremony and videos from attendees, an usher manhandled Black students who were taking slightly more time to cross the stage after their names were called. In videos of the incidents, the usher grabbed onto students, sometimes by the collar and some in an embrace with both arms, before swinging them around to the rest of the walkway.
UF Twitter 🗣🗣
— #HandsOffVenezuela (@ChicoFreedom) May 5, 2018
Almost fell when he pushed me pic.twitter.com/98meStYalY
— thugger 🐢 (@mythuggin) May 5, 2018
One student at the ceremony, Christopher Garcia-Wilde, told Gainesville.com that he had noticed Black students were being pushed aggressively if they took more time. Garcia-Wilde said it’s a years-long tradition to stroll at graduation, a cultural tradition for Black and Latino fraternities and sororities. He said he decided not to stroll and just held up his fist because he was afraid, though his friends did.
Oliver Telusma, one of Garcia-Wilde’s friends and a political science graduate, told the publication he felt embarrassed and degraded over the event.
“I had just started…and he picked me up and turned me around, which I thought was kind of embarrassing and degrading to be handled in that manner,” he said. “It was just really uncalled for, especially for anyone not martially trained to do that.”
- A guide to (not) using the N-word
- Living with the constant threat of death as a Black American
- White feminism is fertile ground for white nationalism
On Twitter, University of Florida President Kent Fuchs issued an apology on Sunday, with a spokesperson for the university stating they are reviewing the situation before revealing the staff member’s name.
“During one of this weekend’s commencement ceremonies, we were inappropriately aggressive in rushing students across the stage,” Fuchs tweeted. “I personally apologize and am reaching out to the students involved.”
During one of this weekend’s commencement ceremonies, we were inappropriately aggressive in rushing students across the stage. I personally apologize, and am reaching out to the students involved. (1/2)
— W. Kent Fuchs (@PresidentFuchs) May 6, 2018
“I want our students to know that we’ve changed that practice, and we also want each of you to know that we celebrate you, your graduation, and your accomplishments. Congratulations, all,” Fuchs later said during a Sunday graduation ceremony.
According to Gainesville.com, “most” of the students manhandled were Black, though the footage shared online shows all of the graduates thrown by the staff member are Black. The university spokesperson said she hasn’t reviewed the tapes to see if this only happened to Black graduates.
“It’s a situation where time and time again the university has made Black bodies feel unsafe,” Telusma said.
H/T the Root
Samantha Grasso is a former IRL staff writer for the Daily Dot with a reporting emphasis on immigration. Her work has appeared on Los Angeles Magazine, Death And Taxes, Revelist, Texts From Last Night, Austin Monthly, and she has previously contributed to Texas Monthly.