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The Daily Illini

Illini Republicans attempt to crash book club

Sunny+Ture%2C+co-organizer+of+Black+Students+for+Revolution%2C+rallies+students+to+march+down+Green+Street+on+October+24%2C+2016.
Sunny Ture, co-organizer of Black Students for Revolution, rallies students to march down Green Street on October 24, 2016.

Sunny Ture, co-organizer of Black Students for Revolution, rallies students to march down Green Street on October 24, 2016.

Lily Katz

Lily Katz

Sunny Ture, co-organizer of Black Students for Revolution, rallies students to march down Green Street on October 24, 2016.

Tatiana Rodriguez, Columnist


Racial tensions sparked between two organizations on campus — Black Students for Revolution and the Illini Republicans — show that the protection of spaces for people of color are yet again being disrupted by so-called political organizations.

The Illini Republicans took issue with The Assata Shakur Reading Group — the Black Students for Revolutions’s biweekly book club for people of color that focuses on radical, black activism — citing segregation and a glorifying terrorist.

However, the Illini Republicans never meant to make a political stand or make change, but rather sought to taunt and disrupt a space where their opinions were never invited in the first place.

The Illini Republicans originally took to Facebook, creating an event opposing the reading group and saying Black Students for Revolution had created “a racially exclusive fan club for convicted cop-killer and domestic terrorist Assata Shakur.”

The Illini Republicans have taken such a stand against Assata Shakur that Jack Johnson, freshman and Illini Republicans secretary, compared Shakur to Osama Bin Laden saying, “I don’t think I would ever start a club in the name of a terrorist, per say — like ‘the Osama Bin Laden Reading Club.’”

Though naming a group after an individual on the FBI’s Most Wanted list is certainly bold, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the group aligns themselves with everything Shakur has done or said.

Additionally, the Illini Republicans comparing Shakur to Osama Bin Laden shows they never intended to understand the Black Students for Revolution’s reasons for naming the group after Shakur since they made extreme comparisons without having considered the other side of the story.

On March 2, the Illini Republicans’s Facebook page created an event entitled the “Joanne Chesimard Fan Club Visit,” in which the group planned to disrupt the reading group, deliberately using Shakur’s legal name.

University senior and Illini Republicans Vice President Timothy Kilcullen said that the organization wanted, “to highlight the Black Students for Revolution as a racist group who has prejudice against white people.”

Clearly the Illini Republicans had no intention of actually learning or making a stand, but wanted to oppose spaces that are for people of color. Additionally, since the Black Students for Revolution is not an RSO, they are free to include whoever they please.

Despite the criticism, Black Students for Revolution went forth with their event on Sunday, appointing white allies as security guards in front of the IMC Theatre and having IMC’s director turn away “unauthorized individuals.”

The Illini Republicans said the reading group was discriminating against white people because they were turned away, and because Black Students for Revolution advertised the event as being “specifically for black folk and people of color.”

After being denied entry along with Johnson and Illini Republicans President Jonathan Heideman, Kilcullen said: “They’re violating the Civil Rights Act. They’re segregating.”

However, the fact that the Illini Republicans was so opposed to the Black Students for Revolution’s choice to refuse entry to white people is hypocritical considering that Republicans often defend the right to refuse entry to a number of marginalized individuals such as the LGBT+ community.

Black Students for Revolution always welcomes people of color and has many white allies participating in their events. But this specific event was meant to be a space for people of color to speak freely.

Black Students for Revolution organizer and graduate student Sunny Ture said: “Black people and people of color need spaces to discuss things without white presence. It’s not an act of segregation, it’s an act of survival.”

The Illini Republicans clearly did not understand. Kilcullen said: “We had questions, we weren’t just here to harass people.”

But if The Assata Shakur Reading Group is about reading literature related to black culture, why were the Illini Republicans so determined to ask questions and speak out?  The purpose of the group is to act as a space for people of color to heal together, away from individuals who might scrutinize said culture.

Though the Illini Republicans kept vocalizing their dissatisfaction with not being allowed into the club to learn, listen or engage in meaningful discussion, they never really wanted to make peace with The Assata Shakur Reading Group.

The aforementioned questions the Illini Republicans had for the reading group were not only argumentative and accusatory, but they referred to Shakur by her legal name, Joanne Chesimard.

Two out of the six questions the Illini Republicans brought to the book club were, “Werner Foerster left behind a wife and two children. If one of those children were here today, what would you tell them?” and “Chesimard claims that she was shot in the gunfight with Foerster and Harper and was ‘left there to die.’ How does this match up with the fact that she was actually found four miles down the road from where the murder occurred?”

The Assata Shakur Reading Group was reading passages from Malcolm X’s autobiography, which they mentioned in their advertisement, and relating it to their own lives — not discussing the intricacies of Shakur’s legal history.

Additionally, I wonder if the Illini Republicans are just as outraged about black and brown people being murdered by law enforcement as they are about Foerster’s death.

The Illini Republicans’s attempt to crash the reading group was never about learning or listening, it was about inserting their opinions that nobody asked for, asserting their dominance in a space that was not theirs to begin with and instilling shame, confusion and anger in the hearts of black youth.

“I think they [the Illini Republicans] just saw an affirmation of blackness that was so proud and intellectual, that white racists, Republicans and conservatives have always been resistant toward and have tried to hinder black people coming together and communally learning,” Ture said.

Tatiana is a freshman in Media.

tlr2@dailyillini.com

65 Comments

  • StudentinDebt

    Ridiculous

    • Fia

      The article is talking about Republicans and conservatives in general, who are known and documented for trying to pass exclusionary anti-LGBTQ laws. Read.

      • safeblonde

        Read it yourself: “However, the fact that the Illini Republicans was so opposed to the Black Students for Revolution’s choice to refuse entry to white people is hypocritical considering that Republicans often defend the right to *refuse entry* to a number of marginalized individuals such as the LGBT+ community.” Clearly this is a statement about ORGANIZATIONAL ENTRY, not about Republicans and conservatives “in general.” Read.

      • The GOP has never anywhere passed an anti-GLBTQ law.

    • Oa Brown

      someone didnt read the the article properly.

  • yourbud217

    Tatiana Rodriguez has been admitted in Little Pravda (as the despicably corrupt College of Media is being known), despite an abysmally bad application, entirely for Racist Grievance Industry reasons. She can barely write.

    All she ever has to say, during the rare moments she is intelligible, is black black black black blackity black black black.

    Her intellectual equipment cannot even compare with that exhibited by a senile hen.

    Without having put in one day of honest work in her entire life, everything she has to offer is deeply-embedded, dark racism, an uber-Fascist mindset, and infinite, all-consuming hatred. This is Tatiana Rodriguez.

  • Ron Jeffry

    when are the blacks going to accept that groups who are members of the majority have it easier than minority members in every society in history? Just as the blacks have it rough here, whites in Zambia or Zimbabwe also have it rough. Grow up, stop whining, and start behaving!

    • Tasha M. Smith

      Whites live in Zambia or Zimbabwe as a choice, and got there the same way they got here, Colonialization. Those White people in Africa weren’t stolen from their country of birth, have never been slaves, never worked on plantations, weren’t owned and raped and murdered by plantation owners. Thank you VERY MUCH Ron Jeffry for proving exactly WHY Black people feel they need a “safe space” to discuss themselves and their communities.

      • safeblonde

        So all people have to pay for the terrible institution of slavery for the rest of time. “Safe space” is code word for CENSORSHIP.

        • Ron Jeffry

          more like “safe space” is a code word for “revenge” and “extortion.”

      • Ron Jeffry

        the first sentences are true, but Tasha: society cannot go back in time, and undo slavery! I wish we could but we can’t: you people need to move forward and move past slavery/colonialism, etc. Note I said “move past” not “get over/forget about” it as in slavery cannot be the chip on your collective shoulder forever. Blacks have been enslaved by not just Europeans but by the Arabs: Muhammad’s adopted son Zayd ibn Harithah began the tradition and the Arabs traded you guys for centuries before the first Europeans colonized anything there. You guys have had it rough, no doubt, but at a certain point, gotta just say “sorry for History.”

        An example of “moving past” would be to follow in the footsteps of the Jews: they commemorate the Holocaust, they remember it, but they don’t ignore the imperative of making progress in their communities because the Holocaust happened. Or note how Israel has sought good relations with Germany even tho they were the leaders of fascism (and had many collaborators across Europe that make the Holocaust a European thing more than just a German thing). You need to learn from the Jews, especially given how much the Jewish community here contributed to your civil rights success: they were a disproportionate amount of the non-black activism behind it. You owe them honor, thanks, and for blacks pols and celebs to not be anti-Semites.

        Also, you don’t need a “safe space”: the kind of stuff “safe spaces” purportedly exist for are actually what friendships/therapists are for, at least in real life.

        • Jake Roth

          You and this comment are so incredibly racist dude

          • yourbud217

            What nonsense. So we have a black supremacist author – Tatiana Rodriguez – a rabid hater who incites to violence, condones (in previous articles) the torturing of disabled victims by black supremacists who “protest against Trump” by torturing the helpless, promotes and glorifies murderers like Assata Shakur, and you accuse her critics of racism??

            Sorry dude, the racist card as used by your ilk is completely expired. Go and get an education. A real one.

          • Jake Roth

            From breitbart? I’m posting with my real name because I’m not scared of people in my life seeing my true beliefs but I guess you are ‘yourbud217’. But hey, if you can explain to me how telling black people to get over slavery like the jews got over the Holocaust isn’t racist I’m all ears

          • Jake Roth

            And again it says Tatiana is a college freshman so I hope your little penis feels a little bigger trashing a young girl like that

          • yourbud217

            The “young girl” PROMOTES A MURDERER as a hero. She deserves any comment coming her way.

            As for little dicks, enjoy!

          • Jake Roth

            I’m not super interested in your YouTube video. Your real name, and why you don’t consider ron’s comments to be racist will be sufficient : )

          • yourbud217

            I found Jake Roth herself on YouTube:

          • Jake Roth

            Again, I’m not interested in your YouTube videos. I doubt anyone else is either. So I’ll ask again, what’s your real name and please respond to my original question: how is ron’s post not racist? I’m just a liberal snowflake in my safe space, you aren’t scared of me are you?

          • yourbud217

            What are you, CIA? Go service yourself. You’re not interesting besides toying with you for a little while.

          • Jake Roth

            I’m just someone who doesn’t need to hide behind a fake name because I’m not scared to stand up for what I believe in man.. what are you?

          • yourbud217

            Not really, you are at best an impotent hypocrite, a deeply hateful racist who likes to project her inner darkness on others. Seek psychiatric help.

          • Jake Roth

            I really don’t get this response man. Does calling me a racist make you feel better about being a racist? Like ‘we both are you aren’t better than me’ is your position on this? Or are you saying I’m racist against white people?

          • yourbud217

            You don’t get it. YOU and RODRIGUEZ are, both, dedicated, shameless racists. I mean this seriously and literally. You demonstrated this when you ignored a “minority” endorsing murder- you would not have done that if some white supremacist called murder OK. Ergo, you are a racist.

            I am not a racist but I also don’t need to justify myself. I do not care about people’s “races”. I do not care about racists calling me racist.

            I despise you and sometimes toy with you, because racists are extraordinarily stupid – see Rodriguez and you.

            You got so used to a monopoly on declaring others racists, dishonestly so, that you are surprised when somebody defines you as what you really are.

            Besides some extraordinarily pauper education, your family must be a nest of ugliness, hatred, and intolerance. You seem to have suckled racism together with your mother’s milk. A repulsive image, really.

          • Richard Smith

            I draw a line at this! Please!

            Jake Roth’s mom may be a racist, and a likely member of extremist organizations. Jake Roth’s mom may have been a promiscuous person of sordid notoriety. Jake Roth’s mom may have taught him how to hate.

            That is not Jake Roth’s fault, though. He didn’t pick his mom. All we can accuse Jake Roth for is what HE promotes – racism, murder, intolerance. And that is enough. Let’s keep things decent.

          • Jake Roth

            You have nothing man. Every time I ask you to explain yourself you just insult my family. Even Richard, who is firmly on your side told yo to tone it down with the family insults but you just can’t seem to do that. That’s because when we remove your insults you don’t have an argument. You are just another scared white guy, just like me. The difference between us is I do my best to not lash out at entire groups of people and blame them for the problems in my life. I know this about you because deep down, you know you’re wrong. You know the things you are saying are at best nonsensical and at worst vile. That’s why you won’t tell me your real name. There are people in your life who would be ashamed to know you if they heard you spouting this hateful rhetoric. And that is why I can’t respect you. This is America, you get to believe whatever you want and.no one, especially me, can take that away from you. But you are too afraid to tie your real life to your words. In the end, you’re more like Barrack Obama refusing to show his birth certificate than anything else.

          • Richard Smith

            Jake, sorry, you DID demonstrate being a racist. Also a rather horrible man of murderous tendencies, not unlike Rodriguez herself (who justifies the lionizing of a proven killer by her social (in)justice buddies.

            The moment you wrote “If you have kids you should probably drown them.” to Ron, who did NOT attack you, you’ve shown your true colors and they aren’t pretty.

            At the same time I disagree with blaming your family and your mother. She MAY have contributed to the way you turned up, but we don’t know for sure. Sometimes even monsters have decent mothers, so I suggested we keep the discussion around your own genocide-focused beliefs. Thank you.

          • In other words you’re scared your precious little Democrats could be wrong.

            What a chump.

          • Richard Smith

            Wrong! Hillaristas and her desolate groupies don’t have small dicks, they were born eunuchs.

            Look at the Racist DemoKKKrap criminal gang – the very image of impotence and mental insanity:

          • yourbud217

            The only real man left in the Ku Klux Klan [D] party is “Michelle” Soetero – also known as Moochelle and, by intimates, Michael Obama.

          • Jake Roth

            Michelle Obama is in the KKK and a tranny? Oh man.. you really have no idea how dumb you sound do you? I’m curious what your problem with her is? Maybe the woman in your life is a little cow like herself and you’re jealous? Who knows

          • yourbud217

            “Maybe the woman in your life is a little cow like herself”
            Ah, you just called Michael Soetero a “little cow”. Tsk-tsk.
            You’re racist.

          • Jake Roth

            Against who? Cows? Lol dumbass

          • yourbud217

            Your IQ is in single digits. Ask Rodriguez out, you will likely click.

          • Richard Smith

            There is a deep intellectual resonance between the two.

          • Jake Roth

            If my IQ were in the ‘single digits’ I wouldn’t be able to use the Internet, but I admire you trying to be funny in the face of your blinding stupidity. I’ll give you that

          • Jake Roth

            I only have time to respond to one idiot in this thread for right now. But don’t worry I can get to you later

          • Ron Jeffry

            since your posts are all public (as of 3/14/17, 18:10 EST), and all of your posts are on this article, how do we know your username is real?

          • yourbud217

            And whether it is or not, who cares?

          • Jake Roth

            Hold on please. The people who aren’t afraid to use their real names are talking.

          • yourbud217

            OK, you are called Jake Roth. Or not. You are still a pathetic imbecile who tries to impress people with that useless piece of alleged information.

          • Jake Roth

            Cool man. What are you called?

          • Richard Smith

            Goodness, you are really boring man (if “man” is how you identify yourself, which would be rather dubious). Leave people be. Don’t you believe the dying Democrat party has a bad enough reputation as it is?

            I believe in a two party system, why do you idiots insist in destroying what is left of your compromised system of interests and corruption?

            I don’t want the Republicans to govern for more than 24 years without any challenge.

          • Jake Roth

            Richard I haven’t expressed any political views here. This whole long thread started when I read a post that said black people need to get over slavery because the Arabs enslaved them first and because the jews got over the Holocaust and don’t complain about it all the time. He also said black people have a chip on their shoulders about slavery. I strongly disagree with that and I think that’s racist. Don’t you?? And even if you don’t what part of that leads you to feel like you know my political beliefs?

          • Jake Roth

            Oh man our long comments got deleted : / it’s a shame I was actually enjoying going back and forth with you Richard, more stimulating than the anonymous guy. I guess we have to agree to disagree for now

          • I don’t blame them! SJW morons like you even try to dox after hard-working minority atheists like Chris Ray Gun.

            Face it. You don’t have an argument and all you can do is feel sad on behalf of others while being ashamed of who Jake Roth is.

            Pathetic.

          • Jake Roth

            Hey man, these comments are from weeks ago and over half of our responses on both sides were deleted by the DI so we kind of stopped talking about it. Sorry but you missed the boat on this. I’m not going to engage you on a site that censors their comment section, seems pointless right?

          • Jake Roth

            Fair enough Ron, my account here is directly linked to my Facebook. Feel free to add me on Facebook to confirm its really me.

          • yourbud217

            The fact that you are brazen enough to advertise your sick racism, Jake Roth, doesn’t make you brave, it only makes the mountain of evidence regarding your idiocy taller.

          • Jake Roth

            Dude for the third time explain how I am racist and you are not or stop posting. You’re starting to bore me. You can’t hurt my feelings when you haven’t given me any reason to have respect for you and your cowardly insults you hurl from behind the safe anonymous barrier of the Internet ok?

          • yourbud217

            It was explained multiple times. You are either too thick to understand, or your disgusting mother dropped you on your head between two sessions of indoctrination in systematic racism.

            You have my sympathy, but don’t abuse my attention.

          • Jake Roth

            You haven’t explained anything, you just keep resorting to, honestly pretty lame by-the-book Sean Hannity style insults. Which again don’t bother me (or my mother) because I don’t respect you (she wouldn’t either). It doesnt take a lot of time out of my day to do this so again: explain how I’m racist and you aren’t, with your real name please. You want to shut me up? That is exactly how you can do it

          • Richard Smith

            He explained it in multiple posts so YOU are the boring one. Where I draw the line is speaking about mothers.

            Obviously you are a rather despicable person, of strong racist inclinations, but I don’t agree that your mother must be held responsible for how you turned out.

          • You’re the one who is playing it safe. You have zero capital invested in this.

          • yourbud217

            Now the sick racist stalker tries to get other posters to “add him” on the Facebook…. under false pretenses.

            What’s with DemoKKKraps that they attract all the perverts and the mentally sick patients in the nation?

          • OOOOOOOOOOO So brave with your virtue-signaling and safe opinions.

            We’re all so impressed.

          • Ron Jeffry

            how about we actually have a discussion, rather than just shouting “racist” at the other person! Any comments about the merit of my comment?

          • yourbud217

            Ron, you are way too optimistic. This attempt at a man calling himself Jake Roth is a racist himself, and tries to divert attention by projecting unto others his ugliest fantasies.

          • Jake Roth

            I think I figured it out. You’re David Duke right?

          • Jake Roth

            I’m willing to try that man. And while the way you worded your comment was pretty inflammatory it seems like you’re saying the author referenced In the article stands for racism, murder, and intolerance so i must too right?

          • Ron Jeffry

            the author referenced in the article stands for refusing to face reality of human nature, and for feelings which are not productive to society, like revenge, eternal grievance, etc.

    • Jake Roth

      This is the dumbest thing I have ever read. If you have kids you should probably drown them. You’re making the world a worse place Ron : (

  • yourbud217

    THIS very weekend, a young boy at the local Centennial High School has been murdered, after having been bullied systematically…. all by a bunch of black hooligans in school. THE SCHOOL AUTHORITIES HAD NOTHING TO SAY.

    Look up the news…. look up Luke Miller (the victim). Look at the mealy-mouthed reactions from the school and how they try to cover up a MURDER OF A KID, in the name of political correctness, and because it doesn’t fit the “narrative” which aggressive, racist, hateful people of murderers-endorsing Tatiana Rodriguez’s ilk need to advance.

    It is absolutely disgusting….. racism and violence HAVE to stop no matter the skin color of the perpetrators…. or of their disgusting groupies, whom apparently Daily Fakery, our student newspaper, holds in high esteem.

    Daily Fakery has a surprising number of morally incompetent, lying, corrupt “opinionators” but Tatiana Rodriguez is in a league all of her own.

  • Oa Brown

    does anyone mind if i answer the questions posed by the illini repubs.

    Avid Assata Shakur reader AND defender.

    visit, like, and share the Assata Shakur Day page on facebook.

    1.“Werner Foerster left behind a wife and two children. If one of those children were here today, what would you tell them?” I would tell them their dad was killed while attempting to carry out a poorly planned and poorly executed assassination attempt on the life of Assata Shakur, Sundiata Acoli, and Zayd Malik Shakur.

    2.“Chesimard claims that she was shot in the gunfight with Foerster and Harper and was ‘left there to die.’ How does this match up with the fact that she was actually found four miles down the road from where the murder occurred?” The cop who survived, Harper, ran off leaving Foerster, the other surviving BLA member, Sundiata Acoli ran off initially as well. He came back, drove the car that Assata Shakur was left in and drove it away, parked it and escaped.

    3.“Police found a book in Chesimard’s car after her arrest which detailed potential BLA targets. Doesn’t this offer further proof that she was a domestic terrorist who planned to kill again?” No. LOL. Have you seen the list?

    4.“If Chesimard was targeted by police in NJ, how doe (sic) that explain that she also attempted two police officers four months prior in Queens?” Queen Assata was targeted by that pig J Edgar Hoover and J Edgar Hoovers FBI through a clandestine program called COINTELPRO. Maybe you’ve heard of it. Thats for one. And two, show me a conviction for an attempt on of the life of two other police officers. She was arraigned for that “ambush” in NY on 5/11/1974 and the case was dismissed without a trial. (Maybe they should join the book club)

    5.“Do you think it is fair that Chesimard was not convicted of the murder of Richard Nelson because of a technicality (they had waited too long to try her because they were busy charging her with Foerster’s murder)?” The Sixth Amendment to the Constitution guarantees us the right to a speedy trial, so YES, it was very fair!!! Queen Assata was already imprisoned and charged with one murder, she wasn’t going anywhere and there is no statute of limitations for that crime. Maybe the prosecutors should have held off on charging her with another if they didnt have time to prosecute her for it.

    6. Since fleeing to Cuba, Chesimard has become an outspoken supporter of the Castro regime. If she really was a brave revolutionary rather than an embittered terrorist, why would she make propaganda for a mass-murdering dictator?” Maybe she doesn’t consider him a mass-murdering dictator. *shrugs*

  • The left saying it sucks to be disrupted during an event?

    Who knew?