As a concerned member of the Boone community and the Boone Anti-Racism Contingent (https://www.facebook.com/groups/boonearc), some of whom are alumni of Appalachian State University, I and others consider ourselves privileged. We are committed to influencing private and public organizations and institutions in Boone to put forth anti-racism efforts and take responsibility for deconstructing and dismantling systemic racism that weighs on our community. Those of us with more privilege and power must carefully listen to the voices that have historically been, and continue to be, marginalized and oppressed. We must amplify the voices that are demanding justice and humble ourselves as we take a deep look into the ways that we have both knowingly and unknowingly caused harm and injustice by upholding systems that cause harm and injustice. The silence of those of us who have benefitted from these systems is detrimental.

Black at App State recently made a list of demands to address inequities that they have personally experienced at Appalachian State University. They also requested a meeting with Chancellor Sheri Everts to discuss the content of the letter and action plan for the demands. An appropriate response would be for the chancellor and the University to:

• Listen.

• Invite these voices to the table when discussing solutions.

• Sincerely apologize for grievances caused by a system that is both racist and lacking in a solid anti-racist action plan.

The response of the University was disappointing:

• Rather than listening, 40 additional people were invited by the chancellor to a meeting on July 21 that was requested and organized by Black at App State. The chancellor and her guests refused to use the agenda prepared by Black at App State and muted every Black at App State Voice on the zoom call at the start of the “meeting.”

• Rather than inviting these voices to the table and showing gratitude for the diligent work they have put into a strategic list of demands, Everts has insulated herself with Black bodies on the general council and in the role of chief diversity officer, successfully tokenizing these Black bodies, putting them in a precarious position to take the heat for her unwillingness to engage.

• Rather than apologizing for this horrible zoom incident as well as the racism experienced by students and faculty, they have ignored it and reacted in defense by showcasing a vague strategic diversity “plan” that is lacking in detail and lacking in input from the voices most affected.

The Boone Anti-Racism Contingent supports the list of demands laid out by Black at App State and we demand that Chancellor Everts and her cabinet:

• Attend a meeting hosted and led by Black at App State without the presence of 40 other voices who are not requested by Black at App State.

• Listen.

• Formally apologize for their actions towards Black at App State at the meeting on July 21.

• Invite Black students, faculty, and alumni to be the primary decision-makers regarding who the members of their aforementioned accountability team will be.

Contact vibrantearthcollective2020@gmail.com to be involved in future anti-racist actions.

Christina Bailey

Boone, member of the Boone Anti-Racism Contingent

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(6) comments

Donald

Systemic racism? I keep hearing this accusation, but no one has explained just what they mean! I think that this is because there is no longer any "systemic racism" in Boone, North Carolina nor in our nation. All of our laws have been changed to make any kind of systemic racism against the law! I see interracial dating, marriage, jobs and students on the ASU campus joining together in clubs, groups and enjoying each others company. Are there idiots out there with bigotry in their hearts? Yes, but that goes both ways -- believe me, Blacks can be bigots as well! Stop the hate, which this is, and study, learn and graduate, then get a job and contribute to an American society that has and will reduce any racism without protests, violence, anger and hate. America is a great nation and can get even better if all its citizens of all ages, genders and races would put their intellect, energy and channel their efforts into achieving all they can, then enjoy the American dream of home, family, money in the bank, entertainment and eventually a comfortable retirement. Simply, stop complaining and get to work! You do not deserve the "free stuff" from other citizens efforts and hard earned wealth! You might learn from the Gospel and know that we are not here on this earth to be served -- we are here to serve and through His grace, have a greater reward after life on this earth.

thechaosaysmuuuu

Are you even capable of coherent thoughts, anymore?

foxwow10@gmail.com

Demands are not the way to encourage discussion. Blacks cannot demand demand demand. Right your selves first. We have spent trillions by one party o help blacks. Money does not work. Nor will demands. Trump has done more for blacks than 60 years of throwing money at blacks. Are blacks listening to Trump? He makes stuff happen. Listen. Listen. To someone who is anti racist. Not the talking heads.

thechaosaysmuuuu

Go away, racist. you are not wanted, nor welcome here.

thechaosaysmuuuu

You've previously mentioned that you are new to the area. Do us a favor: please leave and take your racist attitude with you.

thechaosaysmuuuu

tl;dr - Everts once again proves herself to be a soulless resource vampire, a bureaucratic automaton, and an utter embarrassment to Appalachian State, entirely incapable of basic human empathy or common decency.

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