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Thursday, March 03, 2016


NY Times Upset that racist attack of black girls on a white girl was really a racist attack by black girls on a white girl and the attackers are under attack.

Racism Charges in Bus Incident, and Their Unraveling, Upset University at Albany

ALBANY — The allegation set social media ablaze, sowing shock and outrage as it went: Three black students at the University at Albany had been attacked on a city bus by a group of white men who used racial slurs as other passengers and the driver sat silently by.

The Jan. 30 episode, reported to the police, would draw hundreds of people to a campus rally against racism; an emotional response from the university’s president; and even the attention of Hillary Clinton, who condemned the attack on Twitter.

“We are shocked, upset, but we will remain unbroken,” one of the young women who reported the assault, Asha Burwell, said at the rally, on Feb. 1. “We stand here with strength because we value our worth as black women and as human beings in general.”

But only a few weeks later, what seemed to be the latest iteration of a now-familiar debate about race on campus — the protests, the anguished soul-searching, the calls for greater faculty diversity and administrative changes — has metastasized into a controversy of an even more scorching kind: the allegation, the authorities said, was a lie.

Surveillance videos did not support the accounts of the young women, Ms. Burwell, Alexis Briggs and Ariel Agudio. Neither did the statements of multiple fellow passengers. Rather than being victims of a hate crime, the authorities said, the women had been “the aggressors,” hitting a 19-year-old white woman on the bus....

The trauma for the NY Times writer was intense. The old familiar theme of white racists lynching blacks- and in New York yet - was tailor made for rallies and marches; an opportunity to signal their virtue and renounce again the imaginary KKK that they "know" is in their midst. Now the signs, the banners, all the carefully rehearsed chants, the drumming and the synchronized finger snapping will have to be put pack in the closet until the next hoax can be organized.

It was a turnabout tailor-made to delight conservative media outlets and to ignite social-media recriminations. There were calls for the university’s president, Robert J. Jones, to apologize for his remarks, and for Mrs. Clinton, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for president, to remove her post on Twitter.

For students and activists in Albany and elsewhere, the stakes were greater. Many feared that the hard-won dialogue over racism on campus, the fragile moment of unity, would disappear under a wave of finger-pointing.

“People were forced to think about things that they didn’t think about, maybe, before,” said Amberly Carter, a coordinator at the university’s Multicultural Resource Center who helped organize the rally. “So do we now stop defending black women because of what happened?”

The Feb. 1 rally, in front of a campus fountain, had seemed to signal an awakening for a university that had watched the University of Missouri, Yale and other institutions grapple with protests over racial discrimination without quite erupting into its own. Young black women spoke of the subtle racism that stamped their daily lives. Students, faculty members and staff members of all races listened intently.

But whatever solidarity emerged has fractured over the charges against the young women, putting their supporters on the defensive. Behind the rush to declare the matter a hoax, they say, is an ingrained prejudice against taking the concerns of minority women seriously.

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