Students Protest Sanctions Against Student Leader For Writing “Forget Black Lives Matter” Post

Aug 5, 2016 by

For now, the sanctions stand.

Laura Isensee –

For the last month, controversy has roiled the University of Houston ever since a student leader wrote on Facebook “Forget #BlackLivesMatter” in the wake of the shootings against Dallas police.

It triggered a campaign to remove her from office and the student government suspended her. Now others are protesting that move, decrying it as stifling free speech.

Dozens of people showed up at the UH student government meeting Wednesday night to support Rohini Sethi, the student body vice president at the center of the controversy. She was recently sanctioned by student government for dismissing Black Lives Matter and saying All Lives Matter. She’s been suspended and has to attend a workshop on cultural sensitivity.

“Government institutions cannot in effect remove someone’s constitutional rights. She has a constitutional right to express herself,” said Matthew Wiltshire, a history major at UH who organized the show of support.

“The problem for me is that one entire aspect of diversity is overlooked, that being diversity of opinion,” he added.

Wiltshire pressed that argument at the student government meeting.

If anything, the debate there revealed that the controversy over cultural insensitivity and racial inclusion isn’t over at UH.

“The freedom of speech is not what is being punished. We all have our right to say whatever we want to say. I respect each and everyone’s opinion whether it’s against me or for me. The problem is if you represent me, I expect you to understand my struggle and I expect you to be correct,” Kadidja Koné with the black student union told student senators.

“If you are going to represent a student body with 10 percent black individuals, and you say something that is offensive to them and they tell you they find it offensive and they no longer feel you can properly represent them, we as your constituents, you are supposed to understand and respect that,” she explained.

Some student government representatives considered throwing out the sanctions against the vice president because of some technical rules.

But for now the sanctions stand.

Source: Students Protest Sanctions Against Student Leader For Writing “Forget Black Lives Matter” Post – Houston Public Media

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