Students at a Sacramento-area community college are up in arms over a sign they say is racist and singles out African-American men. However, school officials said that wasn’t the intent.
The sign posted at American River College reads, “Masculine Black Men; Check Your Male Privilege Before Entering.”
The offensive notice has sparked tension on campus and students say it’s just the latest in a laundry list of “racist” incidents at the California school, CBS 13 reported.
Student Alexandra Paige said she’s simply fed up.
“We should not have to tolerate this thing,” Paige told the outlet. “I’ve been attacked over here, and I’ve been judged over here, and accused stealing over there — and I am an American River College senator.”
“Our fight is to no longer sweep these things under the rug,” she added.
The sign in question was spotted hanging outside a window at the college’s Unity and Diversity Safe Place. ARC spokesperson Scott Crow told Atlanta Black Star the flier was posted as part of the work “some African-American students in the HUB were doing [in] exploring issues related to sexism and misogyny.”
“The sign was posted in a way that individuals not involved in this dialogue saw it, and understandably became concerned and upset about the language,” Crowe said in a statement. “The sign didn’t provide the necessary context or background. It was not the intention of the students who posted the sign, or any American River College staff, to create concern or upset.”
“Working with issues of social justice and equity can be difficult, and often our best intentions have unintended impacts,” he added.
Officials said the sign was immediately taken down after students voiced concerns over it.
“We definitely regret the wording,” ARC Dean Joshua Johnson said. “We apologize for that and the damage that was done to the community, that made black men feel that they were unwelcome.”
There’s still no word on who’s responsible for posting the sign, just that the student was Black.
According to CBS 13, the incident comes just days after “White Lives Matter” was found scrawled on a bathroom wall and Black students said they were mistreated by their white peers.
ARC President Thomas Green addressed the controversy in a statement last week, saying he’s privy to students and their concerns.
“Their perspective is valid, their experiences that they have are valid and they are frustrated,” said Green, adding that he hopes to bridge the gap between students of different races/ethnicities for a more unified campus.
Watch more in the video below.