K-State president plans to combat racism

Published: Jun. 29, 2020 at 4:01 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Kansas State University President Richard Myers says he will talk more about action plans to combat racism, bigotry and other forms of social injustice after public outcry on a student’s tweet last week.

In a statement on Monday, June 29, Kansas State University President Richard Myers says he is talking with faculty and administration on ways to combat racism throughout the University in response to a student tweet last week.

Myers’ plans are still unknown, but it is known that he does plan to take action against social injustices on his campus.

Last week a student posted a tweet poking fun at the death of Geroge Floyd while being arrested by Minneapolis Police. Myers says the tweet sparked an outcry with the common theme of wanting to eliminate hurtful and hateful speech on campuses.

K-State student-athletes responded to the tweet by issuing statements that they will not participate in any activities until K-State takes action against the student and racism as a whole.

Myers says the K-State journey began in 1863 when the university was founded during the Civil War.

“While it may seem like ancient history, the vestiges of that struggle remain in our country today,” says Myers. “The Black Lives Matter movement tells us there is still much work to be done to remove the strain of racism.”

Myers says that as a Vietnam fighter pilot he has sworn to support and defend the Constitution, including the freedom of expression, a pursuit which he risked his life for.

Myers said in his statement he offered to join peaceful protests and agreed action is needed.

Universities have always been a place to share and discuss controversial ideas adding that there is no place on campus for racism, hate and bigotry, according to the K-State president.

“Our goal, embedded in our Principles of Community, is that this discourse be civil, with participants being treated with dignity and respect,” says Myers. “We want every student on our campuses, as well as all faculty and staff, to know they are safe and to be treated with respect and common decency. These have been our values since our founding. There is no place on our campuses for racism, hate and bigotry.”

Myers says as president of the university he will amplify voices, particularly from marginalized populations in vulnerable situations.

“I am sorry these incidents have caused our K-State family grat pain and for some to fear for their personal safety,” says Myers. “We pledge to work together to protect the well-being of everyone as we strive to eliminate racism, hatred and bigotry on our campuses.”

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