Marquette Warrior: Scapegoat: Marquette Student Expelled Over Gag Photo in Racial Hysteria

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Scapegoat: Marquette Student Expelled Over Gag Photo in Racial Hysteria

Given recent headlines, one would think that the Ku Klux Klan was running wild at Marquette. The Channel 12 website said:
MILWAUKEE — A disturbing and racially charged photo posted on Snapchat has some students on Marquette University’s campus upset.

“As a black student on this campus, I’m ashamed of what happened. It’s not right,” said Richard Nwabuzor, the vice president of the campus chapter of the NAACP.

[Deija] Richards said a lot of students in the black campus community don’t feel safe.

“I felt personally attacked, and I know a lot of people around me did,” she added.
So what does this scary image look like? Guys in KKK hoods? Rednecks with guns and a Confederate battle flag? Not at all. This is the image.

Click on Image to Enlarge

It’s quite obviously four white guys pretending to be gangsta rappers, with toy guns, hoodies, and gang signs (see the fellow on the right). The black doll isn’t any sort of demeaning image of a black man, but a hip looking fellow in a pinstripe vest who might be (say) a record company executive.

The word “chuuch” is, according to the Urban Dictionary, “an old pimp way of saying ‘Amen.’”

White guys staging a tableau of this sort may be a bit silly, but it’s not the least bit racist.

The fellow in the hoodie in the back (see the arrow) is a Marquette student. A Latino, we will call him “Enrique.” The photo was shot almost two years ago, with Enrique and some of his high school buddies and members of his soccer team.  The black doll was owned by one of Enrique’s buddies; he carried it around a lot.

Enrique’s dad, in an e-mail to the Warrior Blog, confirmed that his son’s intention was “merely a game” and not any sort of racist display.

Things Get Wild

Enrique, this past April, used AirDrop on his iPhone to send the photo to several people at random. Most thought it was humorous, but one black female student got the image, was offended, and complained loudly to other black students. An uproar ensued with over-the-top rhetoric and irate tweets, like this one:

Of course, the College Democrats chimed in:


Naturally, in the wake of any claimed racist incident, campus bureaucrats will pander shamelessly, and that was certainly the case here. As Zachary Petrizzo reported in Campus Reform, the Office of Student Affairs and the Office of Mission and Ministry held a forum so that “we as members of the white community must take an increased responsibility to learn about our role in contributing to racism on campus and in our communities.” Never mind that it was only one Latino in the community who did something that was not racist — although perhaps ill-advised, given the number of people on campus looking for a racial grievance.

And of course Vice President of Student Affairs Xavier Cole chimed in saying:
Our job at Marquette, which we will do much more of, is to help provide safe spaces, provide support for our students of color but also for our majority students to provide tools that we need so we will be able to engage in meaningful conversations, solutions, and dialogues that not only make Marquette better, but our city, and then our state. . . . 
Campus bureaucrats love “racist incidents,” since they give them an excuse to expand their staffs and budgets with new “initiatives.”

More Pandering

Perhaps the creepiest pandering came from President Michael Lovell, who tweeted the following:

Enrique Comes Forward

Noticing the uproar, and naïvely thinking he just needed to explain things, Enrique came forward to the campus cops. After an investigation, they talked to the woman who had complained and (according to the police report):
. . . informed her that the investigation was wrapping up and informed [her] that the individual that sent the photos had no intent to harass her and was not targeting her.
The campus cops forwarded their report to Campus Conduct officials. Unfortunately, those folks were out for blood.

Enrique was first given a hearing in front of two Marquette counsels, and then an appeal before a panel of Marquette faculty, after which he was expelled.

Even before the expulsion, his father explains that:
My son was removed immediately from the dorms and had to find where to stay for the rest of the year and had numerous . . . sleepless nights because of the whole situation.
Summarizing the whole incident, the father said:
Somewhere in April the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and other communities gather together and talked about this and we never had the chance to voice our side of the story.

I do not see why [they would] punish a very good person and judging him just by one mistake he made to send a picture anonymously to another person that opted to received it instead of hearing the whole story and judging him by the whole person he is.

How Does Marquette Respond to Leftist Vandalism?

It might be useful to compare this case to one where leftist students in the feminist group Empowerment vandalized an anti-abortion display in October, 2016.

They covered over the display board with their own pro-abortion signs and tore up the blue and pink flags planted in the ground (representing boy and girl babies who had been aborted).

How were they punished? Each of the vandals was required to write a three page paper explaining how they acted irresponsibly. Two students refused to do this (claiming it was finals week), and they were given a semester probation.

Translation: slap on the wrist.

So a blatant, head-on attack on free expression got off with a trivial punishment, and a gag photo was punished with expulsion.


Marquette bureaucrats, quite simply, compulsively pander to the forces of political correctness. A lot of black students were up in arms about the gag photo, so the fellow in the photo had to be expelled. But several faculty intervened in the case of the abortion display vandalism, demanding leniency for the culprits. Marquette gave them a slap on the wrist for an offense far worse than the gag photo.

This is racialized “justice.” This is where Marquette is.

[Update: story updated 5:33 p.m. to correct ownership of the doll.]

[Update: story updated 7/16, photo not sent to people he knew, but rather random people.

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Blogger Unknown said...

I find it concerning that you still want to be affiliated with Marquette Univerity even though most of your articles reflect your disdain for the university. Do you feel that strongly that MU is always acting in the wrong interests of their students? I am proud to be a MU graduate and find your negativity and divisiveness degrading to those who are providing a quality education. I do not think degrading a poster board is in anyway similar to dressing like black people. Yes, people over react; yet kids need to know there are consequences for inappropriate behavior. What employer would employ a person who dressed as black person? This is the day and age of social media, only sending to one person is never a guarantee it won't be shared or spread.

1:09 PM  
Blogger phrackattack said...

If liberals didn't have double standards they wouldn't have any standards at all. Off topic, but you haven't posted anything on it yet: Congratulations on your vindication before the Wisconsin Supreme Court!

2:26 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

This article is another well-written but sad commentary about the unbalanced leadership at Marquette.
Also: Congratulations re: the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling in your favor!

4:37 PM  
Blogger karl said...

If these young men were black there would have been no consequences. THAT is racist for them to be treated differently.

8:18 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Rachel Johnson, what you call "negativity and divisiveness" I would call "a critique of MU's academic mainstream," particularly in the unequal way it disciplines students based on how closely their political beliefs align with those of the faculty.

What is truly amusing about your comment is how you decry Professor McAdams's critique as "degrading to those who are providing a quality education." What is MU doing when, as shown in this blog post, it expels a student based on a rather innocuous photograph containing no threats of harm to another while placing other students on academic probation when they destroy property belonging to their peers with the intent to silence their political message? The university's actions belie its stated commitment to treating students fairly and ensuring freedom of speech on controversial issues.

You should read the concurring opinion, authored by Justice Rebecca Grassl Bradley, in McAdams v. Marquette University, 2018 WI 88, beginning at paragraph 96. She points out the hypocrisy of the university evidenced by internal emails between professors calling the student at the center of the controversy names like "little twit" and "jackass" while denouncing Professor McAdams for not respecting "the dignity of others."

It's these untenable double standards of the university that Professor McAdams denounces. I'd say it's his obligation to do so, both as an academic and as an individual concerned with fair treatment of political views that go against the grain of today's academic orthodoxy.

8:07 PM  
Blogger John McAdams said...

@ Rachel Johnson Let me see if I understand this: you think defacing an anti-abortion demonstration is not so bad, but "dressing like a black person" is terrible?


At a university, destroying someone's free expression is terrible, and that's true even if you happen to disagree with it.

If the kids pretending to be gangsta rappers were producing a degrading image of black people, that would be one thing.

But in fact, they thought the image they were producing was cool. There was no racist intent at all, and only people with a chip on their shoulder, looking for a racist behind every bush an under every bed would think so.

9:14 PM  

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