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Students burn author's book outside of Eagle Village

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A group of Georgia Southern students burned Jennine Capó Crucet's book outside of Eagle Village Wednesday night after her lecture at the Performing Arts Center.

UPDATE 4:25 THURSDAY: John Lester, Vice President for Strategic Communications and Marketing responded to The George-Anne in an email. "While it’s within the students’ First Amendment rights, book burning does not align with Georgia Southern’s values nor does it encourage the civil discourse and debate of ideas."

STATESBORO — Students at Georgia Southern University burned a book, written by a New York Times contributor, after a Q&A session at her lecture became heated.

Jennine Capó Crucet is a Latina author, associate professor at the University of Nebraska and graduate of Cornell University. Her novel “Make Your Home Among Strangers” was used as required reading in some FYE classes. The book follows a Hispanic girl, inspired by herself, who is accepted into a prestigious university and struggles in her new predominantly white atmosphere.

Crucet spoke at the Performing Arts Center Wednesday night and after she talked about the book, followed by some personal anecdotes, she opened the audience up to questions.

“I noticed that you made a lot of generalizations about the majority of white people being privileged,” one respondent said into the microphone. “What makes you believe that it’s okay to come to a college campus, like this, when we are supposed to be promoting diversity on this campus, which is what we’re taught. I don’t understand what the purpose of this was.”

Crucet immediately responded to the student with audible reactions from the audience.

“I came here because I was invited and I talked about white privilege because it’s a real thing that you are actually benefiting from right now in even asking this question,” Crucet said. 

“What’s so heartbreaking for me and what is so difficult in this moment right now is to literally have read a talk about this exact moment happening and it’s happening again. That is why a different experience, the white experience, is centered in this talk.”

After Crucet’s response, more questions regarding the novel and Crucet’s dealing with being a minority in America were asked and Crucet responded politely.

Crucet took to Twitter to thank GS for having her and to respond to some tweets that questioned her “dissing white people.”

“I met some very amazing, brilliant students at @GeorgiaSouthern tonight,” Crucet said in the tweet. “Many of them were the ones disrupting the aggressive & ignorant comments during the Q&A. At the signing, we hugged & cried. I‘m happy to know them and also legit worried for their safety.”

Later that night, a video of students standing around a fire was posted on Twitter.

Carlin Blalock, a freshman music education major, walked outside of her dorm with her roommate to a crowd gathered around a fire in a grill next to the clubhouse of Eagle Village, on-campus housing. 

“It makes me feel like we are being represented really badly. It makes me feel like these people make us look as a school and even as a freshman class really ignorant and racist,” Blalock said. “Just seeing it happen, I know they didn’t read the book or they didn’t care. It’s so disrespectful to even think about doing anything to that book because that’s her life story. I wish I could have been there to do something about it.”

While Blalock could not attend because of another class, all freshmen were invited to attend the speech.

More video and images of the torn and burned books were tweeted, and Crucet tweeted again that students at GS were burning her books. 

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McClain Baxley, The George-Anne Editor-in-Chief, gaeditor@georgiasouthern.edu

Sarah Smith, The George-Anne News Editor, gaeditor@georgiasouthern.edu

(10) comments

Mollyperry

I'm interested in seeing what our President has to say about this. Remember this, things you post on social media can follow for the rest of your life. These students are saying that they are upset at how she portrayed white individuals, but you are disregarding her experience as a woman of color. Also, there is no way you can speak on or say you promote diversity when you are burning her book while she's a woman of color because you are now creating a division among students. An apology needs to be issued and they need to look up the definition of diversity.


ThomasColardo

This does put a smile on my face [beam]




DrFowler321

Truth hurts. White privilege exists. Period. What are they mad about?


Blackrabbitm

I can't wait for this to grow. These students are braver than any BLM supporters. Punish them and see what happens when they become emboldened. This author is more useful to white nationalism than Hitler.


manicdrummer

Can't say I blame them. I'm Jewish and the last time I ever heard a white person claim we Jews were all rich and controlled everything, you could buy a three-bedroom house for under $10,000 in a nice suburb. Today, liberals and minorities are the biggest anti-Semites. I'm from Madison, Wisconsin and you wouldn't believe how openly anti-Semitic liberals were back in the 1990's. And after they were done getting in your face about the Palestinians, they'd claim there weren't being anti-Semitic.















Go ahead and burn more of their books. Most of what they write is a total waste of time and money, not to mention unsupported by facts. The things they pass for knowledge I can't understand.




Yitlin

Ah Georgia, thanks for reinforcing exactly what the rest of America thinks about you. Good look.


BDI

LOL @ "manicdrummer", because they're only facts when they're conservative talking points/"alternate" facts, right? SMH







BTW it is not liberals that are shooting up synagogues. Look into it and educate yourself. Will do you a whole lot of good.







But go right ahead, advocate for more book burning, a very N%zi thing of you to do. The whole point is so missed on you, it's hilarious and sad at the same time. No one is surprised however, as you demonstrate the mental capacity of a watermelon. Typical.


Juli

I find it as ironic has heck that these delicate little snowflake conservatives are so offended at being confronted by the idea of white privilege (which exists, BTW. I am white, and even *I* know this) that they feel compelled to pull a page from censorship 101 and burn the books of the author that brings the issue up. Maybe said snowflakes need a "safe space" where everyone thinks and speaks just as they do and never bring up any uncomfortable truths. Typical. It's always the GOP that goes into hysterics and plays the victim whenever some one says anything that threatens their world view. OMG!!! That nasty lady said that whites have it easier than people of color!!! How dare she! Doesn't she now that we have diversity now ? She's just trying to make me feel bad, or worse! Think! Quick! We must destroy all her books before anyone starts to take her seriously! So much for free speech. (buncha weenies).


Ogeechee Mac

I thought it was racist to judge people by the color of their skin. I guess so if its "your people", but not so if its "those people".


Juli

https://twitter.com/_SJPeace_/status/1184560615777624065?s=07&fbclid=IwAR1aeY9Q2A_jXmdxey6QDVq_WidcZFPHvGefk8W4SG__uvkaat1mbeTTyyk







Face it. This is our reality whether you want to accept it or not. If this guy had been a person of color, he would be dead. I love my son so much, but when he was in his teens, he did some really dumb stuff (which I won't go into) he is such a fine young man now, married with a child of his own and very responsible. But I know in my heart that if he were not white, he may not have lived through his teen years. You know how many times I have worried about him being shot by the police? Zero. That's white privilege. I told this to the people at church while we were discussing the topic. There is one person (very sweet, older lady in her 70's I think) that said she "didn't see color". I know she means well but that is SO D**N STUPID!!!! It's there and many people do not have that luxury of ignoring it. I know that she didn't mean it this way, but I honestly believe that (white) people say that just so they don't have to think about something that make them feel uncomfortable or guilty. Anyway, you can whine about whites not having it any easier than people of color, but down deep, you *know* that is total BS. Not a single white person would want to trade places. And that's the truth.


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