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Story 41

Fifth Year

College of Engineering

Black

“(1) My freshman year in Chemistry 111 lab there were 2 notes someone left in my chem drawer. The first note came in the 1st third of the year. It referred to me as a nigger and said I didn’t belong in the class and even encourage me to leave before they forced me out. The second note was the last lab of the school year. The note referred to me as a nigger again and said I was lucky because this was the last lab.

(2) A math professor my sophomore year comically explained why he did not understand that how he had to recognize the whole month February as Black History Month. He explained he wanted a whole month dedicated to him for being white to a class of nearly 200, which was in EE.”

Story 40

Fifth Year

College of Liberal Arts

Black

“I never thought my race would be more noticed here than south side Chicago. My first experience with racism was before my move in freshman year. My roommates grandfather posted on her Facebook wall, “fat and black!! My has Purdue fallen. Tell Purdue I’m part of the KKK and you need to move now!!!”
Uhm, okay, nice to meet you too sir. I couldn’t even be in my own res hall room when he visited for fear of my wn safety. You would think, “well okay it can only get better from here” lol, nah. When Trayvon Martin was killed, her grandfather hated me even more, like I was the voice for black people and responsible for poor Zimmerman’s arrest.
Years go by and nothing ever got better. (I did get a new roomie so that was cool.) I couldn’t walk at night by the union, fearing being called a ‘nigger’ by some dudes in a pick up truck. I couldn’t wear my hair natural being told it is unprofessional in a classroom setting. This past year, I took my infant son to class with me (because his father works and I can’t afford Purdues daycare but different issue, right?) I overheard a group of white students say “Purdue even cares for their single black mothers on welfare.” Another white man congratulated me on having a black male as a husband who is active in his child’s life. But you know all hail to our old Purdue!”

Story 39

Alumna

College of Health and Human Sciences

Black

“As a student at Purdue I have faced many microaggressions from students. You had the mild ones, like people asking to touch my hair. To the outlandish, such as a guy telling his friend that he was practically granted sex because he was at a party with a black girl. I attribute those microaggressions to ignorance and bad parenting. However, what was harder for me to forgive was when professors were the ones to be offensive. Asking me to speak as the spokesperson for the black community or speak my “dialect” for the class. These things were not only upsetting but damaging. It sent the message that offensive student attitudes were not only acceptable but encouraged. I remember being In a class and an international student was in the class (a large lecture) the professor was making presumptuous and offensive comments about the student’s presumed ethnicity. The rest of the class laughed as if it was the funniest thing they ever heard. I pointed this incident out at the end of the semester when evaluations were available. But I wondered how many of my fellow classmates stood up for that student?”

Story 38

Alumni 2011

College of Liberal Arts

White

“I usually try to understand people, but some of the behavior I saw while a student at Purdue was inexplicable to me. The following is one of several blatant acts of racism and discrimination, although it was clearly within the Constitutional Rights of the students who acted offensively rights to behave cruelly.
The morning after Obama’s election, the news on campus was there was a nouse hung from the gathering tree in front of Class of 1950. I think there was actually an article about it in the Exponent, or J&C, but I don’t remember how I learned that it was a verifiable fact. That news set the tone for the rest of my day of classes. I arrived at my first class,which was Spanish 201 in the basement of the Foreign Language and Literature building beside Class of 1950. We all entered the room and with the exception of 3 of us who were white, every white student in the class wore red T Shirts Supporting McCain/Palin 2004.’ These students gathered on one side of the classroom, talking about Obama,I heard them say, ‘He’s not American, he was born in Kenya, he’s not the President.’ And, ‘A “N”….. for president, I can’t believe it.’ ‘McCain is the President, they” remove him, Obama is black and he’s not an American.’
My mouth went dry as I heard these things and I looked around at my classmates.The rest of the class, less than half of the students, sat on the other side. Upon hearing the white students, who were not trying to hide what they were saying, but said these things as if the rest of us weren’t there, some of the African American and Latinx students went from clearly happy, to a look of dismay, but didn’t say anything because I really think they didn’t want to trigger the anger and hatred of the white students. The white students were clearly indifferent to the feelings of the rest of us, they continued the mean comments and clear anger of the white students at the result of the election. I saw the Red T shirts all day on campus that day, but I don’t know of anyone who said anything to the students wearing them. It wasn’t the first time in my experience at Purdue where I would see bigotry based on race, sex, or disability, and it wasn’t the last. I wondered if the white students in that class, most from Indiana or the Midwest, would ever realize how wrong they were that day, and how much they are missing out on by being closed to the value of people, of any difference, and how much better a world, and they themselves can be through understanding and compassion. I wonder if they knew that what they were saying and thinking that day, comes from what is cruel and evil in human beings. The frightening thing is, they don’t consider themselves bigoted, because they don’t understand what racism, sexism, and prejudice and stereotype is. I was glad that it was over with when I graduated in 2011.” -Moira E Croley

Story 37

Fifth Year

College of Health and Human Sciences

Black

“All the time hearing people ask me if something is “ghetto”, telling me that I carry an intimidating or threatening tone during speeches during class when I really am very personable and approachable but my voice isn’t super high pitched.

Having to watch discrimination against international students, specifically Asian students, and people getting upset when they don’t have an “American name” to call them because their real names are apparently too hard to pronounce.”

Story 36

Graduate Student

College of Liberal Arts

Black, African-American

“I got on the bus and said hi to the white bus driver he made a face and looked away.

I sat near the front where I could clearly see his mirror. He kept looking up at it, back at me. He had this look of disgust on his face and was mumbling something. I kept looking around because I knew I had not done anything to him. I was trying to see if there could possibly be anything else he was looking at, but there was only one other person on the bus, a white guy sitting on the other side and further back.

As we neared my stop I pulled the cord to indicate I needed to get off. The driver looked up at me in the mirror again, made the same face, and then kept driving.

Finally at the next stop some other people who had gotten on after me all needed to get off. Three white people got off before me. They each said thank you or goodbye and he replied. I said thank you and he looked away. The white person behind me said thank you and the driver said have a nice day.

I did nothing but ride the bus that I’ve paid for with my student fees. But I did it while black.”

Story 35

Fourth Year

College of Agriculture

Black

“Like many, if not all, other African American students on this campus, I’ve been called a nigger several times by white men speeding by in pick up trucks.

About 2 years ago I nearly got hit by a pick up truck with a confederate flag license plate……..while I was standing on the sidewalk.

About 2 years ago, I walked outside my apartment and a white guy made animal noises at me.

I’ve gotten the “you’re pretty for a black girl” comment too many times to count, but it doesn’t bother me much because I know I’m fucking fabulous period.

The countless racist Yik-Yak posts that always hold such a high degree of racism.

Academic adviser once forgot my name and called me the name of the only other black girl in our major.

Freshman year, a friend of mine and I walked by some of the frat houses on campus and got a balloon filled with, what I believe to be, urine thrown at us. Thankfully, it missed.”

Story 34

Alum

College of Liberal Arts

Black

“It was in 2010 after leaving my 8pm class during the winter I had to walk to the near by bus stop on campus. As I stood there alone patiently waiting I saw a pick up truck coming up the street. It didn’t seem out the ordinary UNTIL it got closer and I began hearing several white males shout “F*** you Ni**er, I’ll kill you Ni**er”. (Over and over)
They seemed to find joy in the fear on my face, yet by the grace of God they kept driving. I was definitely scared for my life at that moment. It’s something I’ll never forget!!”

Story 33

Alum

College of Liberal Arts

Black

“Let’s talk about my experience at Purdue as a Black Woman (2007-2011)…these are the events I remember.

Being at the bars standing on the corner by Harry’s and group of white men in a pickup truck threw a cup of rocks at me and my friends. My eye was grazed with a rock.

Walking to B-dubs with my friends and having a red pickup truck drive past on state street and called us ni**ers. This was my first week at Purdue during BGR.

Hanging a noose on the tree where black students frequented

Finding a noose hanged in the library with “f*ck obama”writte on it

Walking home on state street and being called a Ni**er yet again

Walking home with a friend and a pickup truck (they love pick up trucks) tried to run us over and off the road…as they screamed at us. We ran home terrified.

Calling my mom in tears the first week at Purdue because I finally been exposed to the world of racism at 18 years old.

Having to have rallies because police wanted to throw black people through the windows of XXX.

All the incidents that occurred during the Obama 2008 elections. We’ll be here all day.

Dr. Bell’s Memorial Portrait being vandalized with racial slurs. I had graduated but I remember my friends being so upset.

Cotton balls found sprawled on the lawn on the BCC.”

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