KU students and faculty debate future after Ferguson decision

TOPEKA (KSNT) – Students and faculty at the University of Kansas gathered to see what the decision in Ferguson may mean to race relations on campus.

“We are by no means in a post racial America, by no means,” Director, KU Office of Multicultural Affairs Blane Harding said.

He’s just one faculty member who participated in a post Ferguson ruling discussion on Tuesday. The ruling was emotional for many students who say they’ve experienced racism all their life.

“I think that there is a lack of discussion about racial discrimination and prejudice issues that still go on,” KU student Jameelah Jones said.

The main issue during the discussion is how does the community move forward from the Ferguson ruling. The discussion was a step in the right direction says organizer Harding. But many students were angry and say people need to be more proactive.

“There needs to be a more campus-wide engagement in what’s going on and that would be one of the first things I would encourage as we go on,” Jones said.

But until that happens, Harding says the Ferguson verdict sends a message to young black men.

“That you need to be careful, that you can’t do this, you can’t do that, you got to make sure you show your hands, you got to make sure that it’s a yes sir no sir all of these type of things that we shouldn’t have to be telling them,” Harding said.

The challenge now is putting the words spoken here into action on campus and around the state. The group also said they will encourage anyone who sees discrimination on campus to speak out to campus authorities.

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