Rawle Nelson Update: Students demand apology from Editor in Chief for offensive article
A number of students are threatening to have a petition signed with the view of having student Evangeline Byars removed from all association from Adafi News. This threat recently surfaced after a number of students publicly voiced their disapproval over what they termed as her very distasteful, evidently biased articles that were contained in the February edition of the newspaper.
Indepth news spoke to several students who are demanding that Evangeline Byars apologized immediately noting that should she fail to apologize they will seek to boycott activities being hosted by her and associates of her. They are also calling on the newspaper’s faculty adviser former Congressman Major Owens to disassociate himself from the newspaper while using his influence as the newspaper’s advisor to apologize for the very offensive and highly disrespectful remarks that were contained in Byars article.
Penned under the caption, Editor’s Note, Byars sought to berate Caribbean nationals for taking advantages of the many opportunities that African Americans ignore or failed to maximize. Professor Major Owens is as equally guilty as Evangeline Byars because as the newspaper’s Faculty Advisor he must see what goes into the newspaper.
Another student speaking to this newspaper said that the still respected Professor is as guilty as Evangeline Byars and maybe it is time that he resigns from the college as it’s evident that he has anti Caribbean sentiments and seeks to impart it on campus, thus resulting in unnecessary conflicts. He is as guilty as her because they both share an excellent relationship and in the newspaper his name was proudly listed as faculty Advisor being a part of the editorial team.
“If according to school records you have some 30 plus percentage of Caribbean students attending the college then it is highly offensives, disrespectful and out of place for the Professor to condone such articles knowing very well the likely implications that it has. it is therefore important that he should consider tendering his resignation as he is not bringing positive actions but ultimately creating animosity among students,” the student stressed.
A student who recently got admitted into the school said that he is confident that the professor would have seen the article but because they are not bothered and interested in students from the Caribbean attending they choose to allow it to be published adding that most of the students that are part of the current student Government has Caribbean roots. “You see Ms. Byars and Professor Owens has issues so they will do whatever it takes to accomplish their ultimate objective while not being interested with the damage and hurt that they create along the way,” an evidently upset student said.
Another student voicing their disapproval to the long list of students who continues to voice their concern said, “It is comments and actions like these that the people of the Caribbean had rejected Professor Major Owens as their congressman and its evident that he seems to have issues with the people from the Caribbean.”
Calling on Dr. Brenda Greene to voice her disapproval with the contents of the article, several students said that while Dr. Green and Byars share a very good relationship they are confident that Dr. Greene will not echo similar sentiments that years wrote in her article. ‘Dr. Greene is a fair persons and while we are aware that she is closely affiliated to the newspaper we are confident that she will call a spade a spade‘ a student said. They pointed out that adding their voice to the growing list of persons who are annoyed and disgusted with the contents of the article should be a prominent member of the school’s student Government Camille McIntosh.
“Camile had already indicated that she has interest in being the Student Government president and has been campaigning in a very strategic manner and therefore if she is serious and really interested in our support then we are watching to hear what she has to say about the article. You cannot want us for one purpose and then want to get rid of us for another,” a student declared.
The students noted that should Dr Green, McIntosh and Professor Owens voice their disapproval of the contents publicly then they are confident that Ms Byars will apologize.
In a statement issued to this newspaper a number of students under the name of “Students of the Caribbean” demanded a complete retraction of the article which they are claiming seeks to denigrate the character, ability, skills and intellectual ability and integrity of Caribbean nationals in the United States of America.
“We would like to declared that as students from the Caribbean we wholly condemn this cheap, poorly written, distasteful and totally unimaginative attempt to denigrate the character and integrity of students from the Caribbean studying at the Medgar Evers College. we are further alarmed and concerned that Professor Major Owens who happens to be a distinguished professor at the college would have allowed such a piece to be published. This further serves to confirm that Professor Owens continues to be involved in activities that seeks to discriminate and victimized Caribbean nationals since he was rejected overwhelmingly at the polls some years ago.
We would like to remind both the Professor who seems unclear as to his role and responsibility at Medgar Evers College and Ms Evangeline Byars who is evidently being motivated and supported in her antics and actions which seems to further bring the school into chaos and confusion that the laws of the United states of America has strict penalties for persons guilty of committing libel and slander and would therefore seek to urge them to forbid false publications, libel, defamation and sedition.”
“Despite the fact we are from the Caribbean, at the same time we’re making a positive contribution to the continued a growth and development of the college and therefore it is important that they note that ignoring tell-tale signs that even cub reporters elsewhere would have spotted right away, Ms Byars backed by Professor Owens created and conceptualized this very despicable garbage attempting to be disguised under the name of journalism in pursuit of their personal goals to control the school while getting rid of anyone that they deem a threat to their personal desires and ambitions.”
“This grossly disrespectful piece of writing which was poorly written and edited seeks to create an atmosphere of animosity and distrust at Medgar Evers College and we would like to point out that it has the potential to private and incite violence and we call on Professors Owens who is the Faulty Advisor, Dr Greene who serves to provide advice and editorial guidance and Ms Camille McIntosh who is attempting to include a number of key persons from Adafi on her ticket to join the call already being issued by others in condemning this article which further puts the credibility of Adafi in question,” the statement said.
It said that the contents of the piece are laced with anger, hate and animosity towards Caribbean nationals who rightfully seek a better life in the United States of America.
“No attempts were made by Ms. Byars to garner any facts to include in her article thus leaving one to conclude that her intentions were ill conceived and deliberate. We hereby call on the school’s President to take necessary actions against Professor Owens and Ms Byars as we are confident that the article spoke for two or three persons however it is pertinent to note that we command some 30 plus percentage of students. We further would like to bring to the attention of the school’s administration that the article is entirely the product of the imagination of both the Faculty Advisor and Ms. Byars,” the statement added. It further stated the commitment of Caribbean Nationals to pursuing their tertiary education at Medgar Evers College if persons who are bent of creating hate, mischief and confusion are removed.