Students: black cartoonist's criticism of Black Lives Matter is racist
A black student at Wesley College published a picture some deem so racist, they’ve released a list of demands to the administration.
Bryheim Muse, a black student, published two cartoons in the Whetstone, one critical of what he calls the Black Lives Matter movement’s hypocrisy on abortion, and one of a black man making a comment on attire.
— Nisy the Creator (@NisytheCreator) April 28, 2016
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“I was trying to make a point, showing the hypocrisy behind the Black Lives Matter,” Muse told WDEL, explaining that “in one way we’re saying ‘Black Lives Matter, but in another way, we’re aborting our children and we’re saying it’s okay.”
The other cartoon, he says, was based off a Biblical scripture about being known by your clothes.
“I was making a point that the way you dress defines who you are,” he stated.
His main point is that “Black Lives Matter is not the solution to our problems, protesting, begging other people to fix our problems, the solution to our problem is keeping God’s commandments. Black-on-black crime, if we kept the law on ‘love thy neighbor as thyself,’ we wouldn’t have that.”
Senior Tiffany Griffin disagreed, saying that BLM and abortion are two separate issues.
Griffin alleges that there is a strong racial divide on campus, citing an incident in which separate cookouts for white and black students were allegedly held by the college. Muse disagrees and says there is no racial divide.
Following the release of the cartoons, the college held an open discussion forum.
Muse feels he was targeted at the event, saying that the students were there to just talk about how they hated the cartoon, and they only showed up to argue.
It was after the forum when Griffin, Shaylynn Bivens, and Damyra Price created a list of demands for first-year president Richard Clark II, a copy of which they shared with HuffPost.
In addition to demanding that Clark condemn the cartoons publicly and that the Whetstone take steps “to prohibit demeaning content,” the students also called for increasing the percentage of black faculty and staff by 10 percent, enforcing “comprehensive racial awareness and inclusion training” for all students and employees, and increase funding of mental health services for people of color.
— Jane Doe (@TiffdaGriff) April 26, 2016
Clark had previously issued a statement saying that the cartoon is “in no way reflective of the beliefs or values of our college,” according to Delaware Online, but did not promise any specific actions beyond holding an open dialogue about the issue.
He adds that he was disappointed by the cartoons, and apologized to anyone who was offended.
The students’ demands are similar to that of students across the country who have taken issue with the way their respective colleges have handled alleged racial incidents on campus.
“For years now, they've just been putting band aids on, I guess, situations, different things that have been going on on-campus, and I feel like the forum and the cartoon just put everything on the forefront,” Griffin says.
“We have worked hard, especially black women, to defy and break down all of the stereotypes that were thrown at us,” Shaylynn Bivens told HuffPost. “It is humiliating to know that we were dehumanized by a fellow African-American male. He essentially gave the white students a reason to disrespect and think less of us. That comic promotes hate speech.”
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