Michigan State University student Krystal Davis-Dunn thinks the black historical figurines hanging on a tree in the school’s gift shop are “a fear tactic.”
“Something has to happen now,” she told WLNS. “I don’t know what that is, but there has to be someone paying attention, someone capable of making changes and addressing these things that are happening now.”
Davis-Dunn said she was aghast when she came across the black figurines on the special display, which included a tree with Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King, Jr., Barack and Michelle Obama hanging like Christmas ornaments.
Another display nearby with white figurines hasn’t generated any controversy.
“We walked into the gift shop and I see these little black figures and so we looked closely and I’m just like really,” Davis-Dunn said. “It’s insensitive for the fact of the historical context it’s, ya know, the lynching of African Americans. It’s a fear tactic.”
Of course, she reported the racially insensitive figurines to school officials immediately.
MSU Spokesperson Emily Guerrant told The Morning Watch, the school’s newspaper, officials implemented “intentional and unintentional racial bias training” for all staff at the Wharton Center, where the incident took place.
“Regardless of the intent of the display, its impact cannot be ignored – people were hurt and offended,” Guerrant said. “We sincerely apologize to our community members.”
The incident is one of several in recent years involving perceived racism that really wasn’t racism at all.
In 2017, a lost shoelace caused an uproar on campus after a student claimed it was a noose designed to intimidate black and minority students. Last year, toilet paper nooses sparked the same reaction.
According to The Morning Watch:
MSU currently mandates diversity and inclusion training for all newly enrolled MSU students. MSU Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives currently runs the online-based training.
This outrage comes weeks after MSU’s administration released plans to establish “diversity committees, new diversity administrators, plans for a new multicultural center, and mandated diversity training for all staff, faculty, and students.”
Regardless, for MSU social justice warriors it’s too little, too late.
“Students of color here feel unwelcome here. I’m just going to say it,” said John Ray, an MSU student told WILX.