Anti-black graffiti found at two campus locations this month
In loud, clear and united voices they had a simple message: Enough is enough.
Hundreds of angry York University students yesterday lashed out at racists — and school administration — after anti-black graffiti was scrawled at two campus locations.
"This space is ours," Nazareth Yirgalem of the York University Black Students’ Alliance (YUBSA) told a rally in the Student Centre. "We pay enough money to be here. York has to do a better job of protecting us."
Phrases including "All N- - - - - s must die" and "N - - - - s go back to Africa" were found Tuesday on the door of YUBSA’s office and an adjacent washroom.
It was the second such discovery on campus this month, Yirgalem told the crowd.
Students, who say administration is not doing enough to keep them safe, were angry it took until yesterday — two days after the racist graffiti was scrawled — for York president Mamdouh Shoukri to issue a statement condemning it.
"By not condemning it, one would think they (racists) can go on writing it," Yirgalem said.
Shoukri’s attempts to walk to the microphone and address the crowd were blocked by event organizers. After a brief exchange with Zannalyn Robest of YUBSA, the president, and journalists trying to interview him, were physically moved off the makeshift stage by students as the rally continued.
Robest thanked Shoukri for posting a statement on the York website calling the acts "deplorable and unacceptable" but also chided him for the delay. "It came too late. We had to do everything first," Robest told Shoukri, to cheers from students.
Shoukri, an Egyptian-born engineer and the first Muslim appointed as the permanent head of a Canadian university, has ordered an audit of the safety and security on York’s campus by an independent third party.