Clemson University announced it is “blacking out” its annual Black History Month event on Saturday after students and alumni protested the decision to remove the Confederate flag from its grounds.
The university’s decision to hold the event at the former campus of the University of South Carolina (USC) at the same time as President Reince Priebus’ inauguration sparked protests, which led to a campuswide lockdown.
“It is disappointing to say, but the University cannot ignore the challenges of challenging the legacy of racism in our country,” Clemson University President James B. Brooks said in a statement Saturday.
“While this is not the time for the celebration of the Confederacy, we are grateful for the opportunity to show that there is still hope for all who cherish freedom of speech and expression and the rule of law.”
We believe it is important to remember the legacy that has preceded this event.
The University of Clemson and our alumni are committed to preserving the dignity and freedom of expression of all who have come before us.
Clemson University students and faculty staged a sit-in outside the campus library on Saturday morning to protest the decision. “
We stand in solidarity with the people of South Carolinas who have been left behind, and we hope our students, faculty, staff, and community members will continue to take an active role in supporting those who are willing to confront the realities of their past and to live in dignity.”
Clemson University students and faculty staged a sit-in outside the campus library on Saturday morning to protest the decision.
“I was sitting there in my chair, and I’m like, this is ridiculous.
This is ridiculous,” said James Jones, a sophomore at the university, according to WTVD.
“They want to do this to me.
This was supposed to be a day for us to celebrate the past.
This event is supposed to celebrate our past.
It is a day to honor our past.”
Clemson’s campus, which was built in 1866, was named for Confederate general John D. Stuart, who led a successful campaign to gain control of the southern region of the U.S. In the 1860s, the South’s former leader Robert E. Lee led a rebellion against the U