The Daily Illini

Racism present at the University of Illinois

A+Confederate+flag+hung+in+the+window+of+the+Delta+Chi+fraternity+on+First+Street+last+May.
Back to Article
Back to Article

Racism present at the University of Illinois

A Confederate flag hung in the window of the Delta Chi fraternity on First Street last May.

A Confederate flag hung in the window of the Delta Chi fraternity on First Street last May.

A Confederate flag hung in the window of the Delta Chi fraternity on First Street last May.

A Confederate flag hung in the window of the Delta Chi fraternity on First Street last May.

By Daily Illini Editorial Board

Racism is alive and well at the University of Illinois.

In light of recent events at the University of Oklahoma, one of our readers submitted a photo of the Delta Chi fraternity on First Street with a Confederate flag hanging out of one of its windows last May. 

Upon seeing this photo, we felt obligated to run it on our front page in order to help the campus realize that the racist chants at OU are not unique to Oklahoma, and they extend beyond fraternities or isolated groups. 

Racism exists on our own campus, and it comes out constantly, in as blatant fashion as a Confederate flag hanging out the window of a fraternity. While we don’t know if the person who hung this flag had racist intentions, a Confederate flag doesn’t exactly make many students feel comfortable, and it’s the reception of this act that speaks louder than the intentions behind it.

Are we surprised by this photo? Sadly, no. Just as we weren’t surprised when the video showing students singing “There will never be a n****r at SAE” surfaced at the University of Oklahoma.

It’s not shocking that racism exists on this campus. Earlier this year during Homecoming, Delta Chi had to issue an apology for making a sign with a chief getting ready to slice open a gopher saying “Gut the Gophers.” Every year on Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day, hundreds of University students wear shirts with demeaning depictions of Native Americans on them. Recently, a bulletin board in Davenport Hall was defaced with a swastika. 

On Yik Yak, there are constantly racist posts, decrying African-Americans, Asians and people of all different ethnicities. Over the weekend, one of our staff members was cat-called by a white member of a fraternity saying, “I love black women.”

It’s no wonder that black community activists who recently called for the Chancellor’s resignation think there is a race problem on this campus. Our university constantly preaches about diversity, but there is no real movement to make this an inclusive campus. 

Fewer black students are attending the University. Fewer black professors are teaching here. International students bring in large amounts of revenue for the University, but often have trouble assimilating into the student population. 

Incidents like the one at OU show that the University isn’t the only institution of higher education with a race problem, but it’s a problem that needs to be fixed nonetheless.

When we see pictures like the one accompanying this story, it’s a reminder that the University of Oklahoma incident could have happened here.

Leave a Comment
The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871