Nishi Gupta, KTVB-TV (Boise), December 9, 2009
Students at Boise State University are calling some fliers offensive and racist.
The literature first surfaced last week on World AIDS Day. It tells people how not to catch AIDS by suggesting no sex with bisexuals or people who inject drugs. But the language that has students most concerned is about African Americans.
Senior Jalara Walker, an African-American, came to BSU from California. She’s loved her time on campus, but that changed last week after she found several fliers in a class.
“I really thought that stuff like this was over,” Walker said.
The fliers read: “Don’t Catch AIDS!” at the top. At the bottom they say: “Blacks are walking STD factories” and “once u go black we don’t want u back.”
Walker said she laughed at first, thinking it absurd, but then left class to report it to the dean’s office.
“It just makes me uncomfortably aware that I shouldn’t be here. That’s what I feel like. I don’t want to go back to school,” Walker said.
Dwight Murphy saw a woman last week stuffing newspapers at a campus newsstand with those fliers.
“She didn’t look anymore out of place than any student here,” Murphy said.
As the advertising manager for “The Arbiter”, the student paper, Murphy told her she could not do that.
He didn’t know what her handouts said, but as soon as he found out he called police.
“I would personally love it if they could figure out who did it and catch them,” Wakeley said.
“I don’t want to sit in a classroom and think that people don’t want me to be there or people think any less of me because I’m black,” Walker said.
The president of the Black Student Alliance says the flier is insulting to the entire campus, not just black students. Out of BSU’s nearly 19,000 students, 361 are black.
Boise State students are holding a solidarity rally today to help stop hate on campus.
The rally was organized after racist fliers circulated on campus earlier this week.
Students are calling today’s event “Hands Across Campus.” They will join hand in hand and see how far they can stretch across campus. They are expected to hold hands for about 15 minutes.
Also, protesters are asked to sign a statement against hate on campus and a special event will be held at a later date.
This is in reaction to the flier that surfaced on the BSU campus and targeted black students.
A BSU spokesman said police and the school administration are investigating the fliers.
Students want to make a statement to show the students stand unified against this type of hate message.