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The story is false, but it raises an important issue, part 2

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by YankeeFan, Mar 4, 2016.

  1. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Overall, it sounds like the false charges turned out to be a net positive for the school:

    The allegation set social media ablaze, sowing shock and outrage as it went: Three black students at the University at Albany had been attacked on a city bus by a group of white men who used racial slurs as other passengers and the driver sat silently by.

    The Jan. 30 episode, reported to the police, would draw hundreds of people to a campus rally against racism; an emotional response from the university’s president; and even the attention of Hillary Clinton, who condemned the attack on Twitter.

    “We are shocked, upset, but we will remain unbroken,” one of the young women who reported the assault, Asha Burwell, said at the rally, on Feb. 1. “We stand here with strength because we value our worth as black women and as human beings in general.”

    But only a few weeks later, what seemed to be the latest iteration of a now-familiar debate about race on campus — the protests, the anguished soul-searching, the calls for greater faculty diversity and administrative changes — has metastasized into a controversy of an even more scorching kind: the allegation, the authorities said, was a lie.

    Surveillance videos did not support the accounts of the young women, Ms. Burwell, Alexis Briggs and Ariel Agudio. Neither did the statements of multiple fellow passengers. Rather than being victims of a hate crime, the authorities said, the women had been “the aggressors,” hitting a 19-year-old white woman on the bus.

    All three pleaded not guilty on Monday to misdemeanor assault charges; Ms. Burwell and Ms. Agudio, who publicized the episode through Twitter, also pleaded not guilty to charges of making a false report. The judge who oversaw the arraignment called the charges, if proved, “shameful.”
    “People were forced to think about things that they didn’t think about, maybe, before,” said Amberly Carter, a coordinator at the university’s Multicultural Resource Center who helped organize the rally. “So do we now stop defending black women because of what happened?”
    “It’s disappointing and saddening that somebody who seemed to be trying to help the movement would be the one to set it back,” said Lauren Hospedales, a freshman, referring to Ms. Burwell. She said she was worried that “it’ll be harder for people to believe and support” minority women in similar situations in the future.

    Yet, Ms. Hospedales added, “We needed her to get that conversation started, so it wasn’t a waste of time.”

    Sami Schalk, an assistant professor in the university’s English department, who has devoted class time since the bus episode to talking through the implications with her students, said she was concerned that the women’s detractors had failed to consider the prejudice and “racialized language” the young women may have encountered on campus or before the bus ride that could have played a role in provoking the fight.

    Whatever the outcome of the criminal cases, Professor Schalk said, the events had already served a useful purpose: making white students aware of the subtle slights that students of color regularly encounter.

    “My white students have said this has opened up conversations,” she said. “Things that are inadvertent, small, but that these white students have no experience with, not being a person of color on this campus.”


  2. Riptide

    Riptide Well-Known Member

    This gives a bad name to Little White Lies.
  3. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Part 2?

    You're very kind.
    YankeeFan likes this.
  4. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    It's like a pregnancy from rape. A blessing from trauma!
  5. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Seems like you are passive-aggressively trying to make a point, YF.

    Or perhaps you are encouraging others to make false assault charges for the greater good.
  6. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    I'm just glad this conversation got started.

    I had no idea about the subtle slights students of color regularly encounter.

    That a false charge of racism prompted it matters not to me. Totally beneficial. Hopefully we'll more of this kind of thing.
    Hokie_pokie likes this.
  7. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    False charges that cover up your own crimes are a great way to generate discussions about race. More people should do it.
    Hokie_pokie, Ace and YankeeFan like this.
  8. Vombatus

    Vombatus Well-Known Member

    Yeah, that Polish destruction of a German radio tower led to a great discussion after 1 SEP 1939.
  9. DanielSimpsonDay

    DanielSimpsonDay Well-Known Member

    Had the incident occurred as alleged, would the perpetrators and indifferent driver have received at least partial credit for starting a much-needed dialogue?
  10. Vombatus

    Vombatus Well-Known Member

    Put it another way: would the view be so rosy of a new dialogue had there been a race riot and someone killed over this false allegation?
  11. Buck

    Buck Well-Known Member

    What has more benefit to society - immoral acts that lead to important dialogue or fabricated immoral acts that lead to important dialogue?

  12. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    Depends how much money Al Sharpton can make off of it.
    fossywriter8 likes this.
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