KU Student President not retreating from controversial retweets


Niya McAdoo said she wasn’t surprised by the backlash against retweeting the phrase “everyone happy Friday.” “Death to America” ​​on September 3rd.

“I think the phrase’Death to America’is a triggering phrase for people. Most people have seen the phrase being said by countries other than the United States,” said the 23-year-old. Said McAdoo, senior and new student president of KU. “The intention was never … to downplay or call for violence against a particular group, veterans, or military personnel.

“But in the end I support what I said, because for me, the United States in which I live is not the one that supports me.”

Conservative social media jumped at her message. Radio host Todd Stearns I wrote a story on his personal website.The Kansas City Star Michael Ryan Published column About McAdoo’s retweets.

“This is J-Hawk’s country, your KU student president,” Ryan said.

The Student Senate will pass a condemnation resolution next week. The University of Kansas Prime Minister Douglas Girod said McAdoo’s sentiment was a constitutionally protected speech, but he strongly opposed it.

“Student posts are protected by the First Amendment. In addition, KU is working as a market for ideas, including ideas that some individuals find offensive,” Girod said. Mr. says.

“I understand and appreciate why so many individuals find the content of student posts unpleasant.”

Originally from Columbia, Missouri, McAdoo grew up in an interracial home. The mother is white and the father is black. She said she chose KU because she wanted to be near her house and knew it was a good school. She majors in visual arts and African American studies.

She said the reason she wasn’t surprised by the backlash was that the country had a history of blaming blacks and other colored statements.

“Colored people who try to speak up or be honest about this country, what it represents, and what it does to our community. It’s not new because it’s been repulsed, “she said.

“There wasn’t much intent behind the retweet. To me, this country doesn’t mean inclusion, it doesn’t mean the black and brown community, it doesn’t mean the queer or transgender community. So this America where I currently live, yes, I want to see it in vain. Yes, I want to see it die. “

She added: “I can say that the Prime Minister is disappointed with my remarks all day long, but I am disappointed with the fact that he is still called n — er.”

The Republican National Committee’s Kansas Federation tweeted that McAdoo should resign immediately. She said she wouldn’t.

She also feels that there is no obligation to explain, especially to those who do not try to understand her reality, and the reality that blacks are facing.

“You can read about these in books and articles,” McAdoo said. “It doesn’t mean that these people aren’t educated about racism, they know about it, they’ve read about it. They choose to do so, so they I’m a racist. What I say isn’t going to change that. “

University correspondence

Conservative columnists pointed to Macadoo’s social media posts as evidence that the University of Kansas and other campuses are fostering hatred for the United States. They urged KU to take a stronger stance against it.

However, authorities stopped blaming and punishing her.

Harrison Lee said McAdoo’s post did not show “the kind of productive dialogue we would like to encourage on college campuses,” but that the desire for politeness cannot outweigh freedom of expression.

Genelle Belmas, the first modified professor at the University of Kansas Journalism School, said KU was in a difficult situation in response to anger. Do nothing, she said, and the general public would be angry. Punish McAdoo, and they will be accused of violating her right to freedom of expression.

“I hope they won’t fall down to this student in any way,” Belmas said.

“We are responsible not only to make sure that KU has a good face, but also to make sure she is protected.”

Mr McAdoo said McAdoo could be accused of speeches by his classmates’ senators, but should not be disciplined by college unless he violates policies related to college-related social media accounts. rice field.

Every few years, political anger will be directed at the university over the speeches of students and faculty, Belmas said.

In 2018, a Republican politician attacked the university for allowing an art exhibition of tainted flags to fly over the building. The professor was threatened with murder by posting on Twitter that the NRA had shed blood after a mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.

She said the college reaction to such an act was haphazard. Following McAdoo’s tweet, Belmas said the university had acted properly. However, at a previous event, Belmas believed that the university had moved art exhibitions and suppressed speech by suspending professors who criticized NRA.

“We have a duty to challenge our ideas, not only as educators, but as students, graduate students, and everyone involved in the university. Rather than just chilling speeches and eliminating them. It’s always better to challenge ideas, anything, “said Harrison Rosenthal, a joint student of KU’s PHD and Law, who chairs KU’s Graduate Student Advisory Board.

McAdoo said he received messages of support from friends and faculty members in all counterattacks, criticisms and racist insults. She also doesn’t want blacks and browns to stop fighting and defending for true justice.

“I encourage people to keep talking. I encourage people to be their real self. I oppose them to these oppressive systems that do what they do. I highly recommend that you continue, “she said. “And fight for these rights we have.”