Last October, a number of Black and Asian students at the University of Texas, Austin campus said they were the targets of bleach bombing while walking on campus. In response to the incidents students, alumni and faculty members protested the attacks. Although these incidents occurred between June and September, Cindy Posey, public information officer for the UT police department, said the students recently came forward after the UT police launched their investigation.
Apparently the bleach bombing issue still persists on campus.
University of Texas student Bryan Davis, was struck by a bleach-filled balloon while he was walking to visit a friend in a neighborhood populated by UT students.
Davis contacted the Austin Police Department, who said they’d put a detective on the case. Davis’ friends have told him not to hold his breath though; no prosecution has come from APD’s attention. Many students see no point in reporting the attacks when nothing has been done to stop them, Davis said.
That means there are many bleach bomb attacks in West Campus we don’t know about. The concept behind them is to “whiten” students of color. Bleach also blinds people. Luckily, no one has been blinded yet in West Campus. The very real possibility is hideous.
“I talked to my sister an hour ago,” Davis said. “She’s a freshman at Xavier University. I always tease her about how she should come to UT, but when I was talking to her on the phone about it, I was talking about why that was no longer a good idea, for her physical safety. UT is supposed to have the atmosphere of the entire city, it’s supposed to be progressive and forward-thinking, and here we are with hate crimes still taking place.”
Students of color feeling unsafe at UT is utterly disgraceful. The university, in conjunction with APD and UTPD, must do much more to protect its students in the neighborhood. They must figure out how to stop these attacks before they happen, and make sure they don’t so easily go under the radar.
The University of Texas at Austin has long been committed to promoting diversity and ensuring respect and inclusion throughout the campus community. Our university should be a haven and home to students of all backgrounds. Austin Police are investigating the allegations about an incident off campus and we are anxious to learn the results. University police will work closely with APD on the investigation. The Dean of Students and our campus climate response team, which coordinates the university’ response to bias incidents, is actively reviewing these allegations and also prepared to work with Austin Police on their investigation.
Don’t worry Bryan, according to Bobby Jindal, racism is a rare occurrence here in the U.S., maybe you got bleach bombed because they wanted to help you brighten your whites.