#RacismAtTAMUFeelsLike: Texas A&M students share stories of discrimination, say 'Asian-American is a label'

The large number of complaints just show how prevalent racism is on campus

                            #RacismAtTAMUFeelsLike: Texas A&M students share stories of discrimination, say 'Asian-American is a label'
Texas A&M University (Getty Images)

In the wake of George Floyd protests, systemic racism is the burning topic and many celebrities and people from different walks of life have raised their voices against rampant discrimination across the United States. Amid all the ruckus, many people are opening up about the racism at Texas A&M University with the hashtag #RacismAtTAMUFeelsLike.

Recently, the board of Texas A&M University created a $100M scholarship fund, which focuses on making the college system's 11 universities more inclusive, according to a university release. According to reports, A&M System Chancellor John Sharp said on June 15 that the fund had been "in the works for some time".  "The goal... is to make A&M system's 11 universities look like Texas," Sharp said. "Though system-wide the universities are within a few percentage points of reflecting the state's demographics, the student population on some individual campuses is not where we want it to be." The move stresses on the need for A&M's student population to reflect the state's cultural diversity. As per the data of 2019, white students comprise more than half of the student population at A&M's College Station campus, while black students make up less than 4%. Moreover, Hispanic and Asian students make up 21% and 8% of the student population, respectively. The state's population is 41% white, 39% Hispanic and 12% black, according to US Census Bureau data.

However, the confessions on the internet have a different story to tell. "#RacismAtTAMUFeelsLike when ags share their personal stories and are confronted with even more racism. FYI not all racist encounters directly mention skin color, but it is the obvious motive to the hostility they face," one tweet read and another said, "Being excited to finally have your first Latinx female prof & then finding out she had to take leave bc students were sending hateful emails bc of her identity & feeling like there will never be a place for me if my own prof isn’t respected." One went on to say, "#RacismAtTAMUFeelsLike coming to a brand new university optimistic and then a white kid already making you feel unwelcome the first week you get there by nonchalantly saying 'there are too many Mexicans here'." Another posted, "#RacismAtTAMUFeelsLike standing at fb games in the corps section and hearing people telling their buddies & dates not to stand next to the 'brownie' or the 'terrorist'."

With the huge number of tweets, it's clear that too many students have been affected. "#RacismAtTAMUFeelsLike a white girl in my art history class telling me that racism doesn’t exist because she has never experienced it and completely invalidating my experience with racism on campus," one said and another wrote, "#RacismAtTAMUFeelsLike When me and my chem lab partner were the only people of color and sat together because everybody else was white and didn’t wanna sit with us." One wrote, "#RacismAtTAMUFeelsLike hardly ever being called by my name bc 'it’s too hard to say' I rather hear my name butchered than to be told 'hey you' or be referred to like an object. Or having yt ppl tell me 'why couldn’t they name you something easier/in English'." Another said, "#RacismAtTAMUFeelsLike when being told Asian American is a label and APIDA is a 'discriminatory' term, being uncomfortable in many SGA (not all) settings, and having people disregard what I say as a woman of color and can’t be bothered to learn how to pronounce my name right!"

The students also urged other universities to speak up. "#RacismAtTAMUFeelsLike is now trending at n. 11 in the US trends. If any non-A&M students see this and want to talk about racism in your school, please do so! It brings awareness that racism is a real issue," one tweet read. Helping keep such confessions anonymous, one tweet read: "THREAD: Texas A&M students/alumni have been able to share their experiences with racism via #RacismAtTAMUFeelsLike. We understand that many members cannot share their stories due to fear of being targeted and censored. So CMSA will take submissions and post them anonymously."

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