Oberlin Blogs

College Hatred in the Age of Yik Yak

December 14, 2015

Kameron Dunbar ’19

This topic has been on my mind for a while, so tonight I think it is an appropriate time to address it.

Over the course of the year, Black students have demonstrated their opposition to structural injustices imposed by the college and other systems. These demonstrations are almost always met by an influx of comments on Yik Yak, an anonymous media platform.

Because it's finals week, I really don't have the time to go into an in-depth diatribe regarding this issue. But, because this seems to be a common occurrence, I'm going to leave this here for now:

Using Yik Yak as a cowardly tool to veil internalized racism and prejudices against Black and other people of color is simple. In this application, it's a tool for a simpleminded person to ultimately express their simpleminded opinions.

When protests were held at the A-House dining hall, there was a whole community of people there willing to engage in dialogue about why we were demonstrating. Very few people engaged in any sort of in-person discourse, but many took to Yik Yak to ultimately vilify the Black community.

If you have a problem with something you hear, see, read, or otherwise experience coming from a community, it might be a decent idea to find a constructive way to voice that concern. Anonymously perpetuating violence against POC and attempting to silence historically silenced voices is not constructive; it's pathetic.

Responses to this Entry

just wondering, what is the context for the comments about the And What discussion? Am particularly wondering about equating white's listening to hip hop with police violence

Posted by: Anonymous on December 14, 2015 10:16 PM

One year ago, we dedicated our show to the Black lives lost at the hands of police brutalization. A year later, absolutely nothing has changed. So again, we must bring attention to this violence, and another form as well: the robbing of hip hop from Black communities and the massive commodification of its aesthetic and sound by people who have little to no regard for its origins. Note the juxtaposition of police brutality and white people egaging in hip hop as if those two concerns were at all related or equivalent.

Posted by: Anonymous on December 14, 2015 11:29 PM

The above quote was from an event they held (with my commentary, of course).

Posted by: Anonymous on December 14, 2015 11:30 PM

To the person who commented on this post in an effort to explain the Yik Yak post going after And What?!
1) Police brutality is unquestionably a form of violence. The large-scale theft by white people of a Black genre of music created to protest white supremacy (among many other things) is, as the AW program said, "another form of violence." If you think white entitlement to Black bodies and Black culture is disconnected from the physical violence Black people experience, you need to read more. A lot a lot more. Here are some places to start:
2) Commenting anonymously to an article about how anonymous comments are cowardly and foolish really just proves the author's point. Not that Kameron needed your help.

Kameron, I don't know you, but thank you for your words and your work. I'm sorry people are so ignorant.

Posted by: Alison Kronstadt on December 15, 2015 12:16 PM

I'm glad you are putting this on the internet. Racism lives at Oberlin. It just has a bunch of different forms. The way in which yik yak responded to the Black Student Union shows that. While we can not police these individuals, we must continue to try to hold Oberlin to a higher standard.

Posted by: Dan Lev on December 15, 2015 1:24 PM

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Posted by: Diyetisyen Ankara on December 16, 2015 6:19 PM

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