October 8, 2014 Shuzzr


Words can’t describe how offensive, degrading and outright inappropriately unprofessional the tone of the emergency broadcast, that was made on Tuesday, September 30, 2014 about the unfortunate stabbing incident on campus.

The university in its effort to make its students aware of the confrontation through various media channels about what had unfolded on campus, sought to use racial profiling to identify who the assailant was. The major issue in the broadcast was the choice of words used to describe the race of the attacker. One could be of the assumption that individuals who are employed to an institution of this level would be more sensitive to its demography and be more politically correct when describing various races.

We no longer live in an era where the word “black” is used to describe individuals who can be classified by the color of their skin. The struggles our forefathers and our nation have endured to move us beyond such distinction has passed many years ago, even though it’s apparently evident that the old colonial thought still remains alive in the minds of some.

The choice of word could have led to the incident escalating. The word “black” sought to put those who are of African descent in a lower class, making it come across as if a slave had escaped and had injured the child of the plantation’s master. Referring to someone as black is tantamount to calling them that forbidden N-word.

While the incident is unfortunate, and by no means condoned. As a member of the student body I fully support all legal efforts to attain and prosecute the perpetrator who had violated our safety. We cannot look pass the tone of the broadcast and or notification(s) that was made by the university and as such, an apology should be rendered based on the tone/choice of words that was used in the aforementioned.



Rickardo Smith,



Comments (27)

  1. You are a real sick person! White people commit crimes daily. I would expect a comment like yours from someone from Brockport. You are all racists.

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  3. dramatic

    Mr Smith is a known attention seeker….why post your picture in an article NOT about you? Check your information and state facts before posting also check the meaning of words before you use them and please spell check!

  4. Joe

    Quick fact. You can be black and not have originated from Africa… Law enforcement was just trying to find a dangerous young man. if he was white they probably would have said “white male”. Not getting my panties bunched up because they didn’t say Caucasian.

  5. White Kid

    I don’t understand people like you that are so hypocritical and over sensitive. The broadcast said black….black. not N***** or any other derogatory term towards BLACKS. A person just tried to murder someone, and who knows at that point what he’s going to do next. How else were you going to describe the person? “There is a person heading towards Rochester” yes along with 500 more people. In this case do not call white people white.

  6. Dave Couture

    Mr. Ricardo Smith:

    A friend of mine drew my attention to your apology request after they had posted it on their facebook. I want to thank you (and Ted for posting it so I could read it) for bringing this matter to my attention. I apologize. Until I read it, I was ignorant that African, rather than Black, was appropriate. I am grateful that you used this regrettable incident as a teaching moment. You have probably saved me from embarassing myself at some point. Further, I value what you have done because it reminds me that, as a Caucasian, I need to listen more to those affected by racism rather than relying on my priveleged view to define what constitues racism.

    Once again, thank you and I apologize for my ignorance.

    Dave from Canada

  7. BrockportStudent

    You are clearly making assumptions on the thoughts of the person who made the announcement across campus. You don’t know what was going through their mind. They had one job, to spread the word about what happened, and that’s what he did. We are in a society where the term “black” is still used and many people who are “black” are not offended when they are called “black”. You’re just way too sensitive, and need to look past this. The man was clearly looking out for everyone’s safety, ans yes, “black” people included, in case you felt otherwise about that too.

  8. townie22

    First off why does it matter saying a black man? You can call me a white man it doesnt matter. And I don’t refer to myself as German-American I say american so its offensive saying African American to me. You’re an American so you should start acting like one instead of pleading everyone is against you and “black people”. You create inequality with liberal crap like this. #justsayin

  9. Kayla

    In my opinion the word “black” is not a terrible word to be used. If it were a white man the term “white” would be used with no conspiracy. Also, how can we say he is African American? People of the black race may also be other nationalities as well. People are over reacting.

  10. bport alum

    Last time I checked, black was a color, not a race. Just like white is a color, not a race. And with all colors, they serve as descriptive words – adjectives. “Black” is pejorative because you have chosen to make it pejorative, not because it was that way inherently.

    Your posting has done nothing more than place those of “African descent in a lower class,” the same thing you claim to be speaking out against. I am absolutely ashamed to see a student at my alma mater play a race card in an attempt to spark “discussion” or “awareness” for something that’s a non-issue.

    That doesn’t even begin to speak to the nature of grammar use in your postings here and on Facebook. I am having a hard time believing that a college student, especially one from Brockport, would be incapable of producing a cogent argument.

  11. Mecca

    I don’t think the situation had anything to do with slavery but I do agree that they should have used a better description. The main reason why this is a problem is because the description was targeting any black male on or even off campus. They didn’t give us any clarification of what the definition of black was in this case.

  12. pones

    There are white people in/from Africa though so if we’re really being politically correct, saying African American still wouldn’t give us a clue as to what he looked like.

  13. brockport student

    I think this reaction is a little extreme, especially when you bring slavery and plantation owners into it..

  14. anon.

    Yeah but how do they know he was of African decent. Like instead of saying “white”, should we start saying Irish-American? At a college that has a large diversity he could have been Jamaican. So really Black is politically correct. Sorry that other people took it too far.

  15. Shanika Johnson

    Be on the look out for man between the ages of 18-55. Wearing a solid colored/striped tshirt or hoodie. You don’t really understand descriptive language do you? I identify myself as a black person because you know what? MY FAMILY ISN’T FROM AFRICA. You’re from Jamaica, so what are you even talking about? It’s more ignorant to say African-American than black.

  16. bport

    Yes perhaps it would, but in the commotion that was likely going on I dont think they thought of the “proper” term that won’t piss people off. Its not like it was said in a derogatory way was it? If thats the way you see it then I’d say you’re just looking for a reason to make a big deal over nothing.

  17. Alex

    Technically “African American” is an outdated term to describe someone of color. By referring to someone as African American you suggest that the individual’s origins are African, when the individual could easily be from the Caribbean or even elsewhere. Also it suggests that those of darker skin tones are the only types of people to originate from Africa. Stereotype and prejudice researchers are actually trying to go back to the term “black” because it is more politically correct. This is seen in peer-reviewed research journals such as the British Medical Journal, the American Journal of Public Health, and even the Journal of African American History. Also how do you feel about Black History Month, in both the title and the idea?

  18. really

    you know what, here you go.

    We’re sorry for calling you black. From now on, the word “black” will be banned completely since it so horribly offends you. But at the same time, I never want you to use the word “white” again. It hurts my feelings. I also don’t like caucasian. Or pale. Find a new word.

  19. really

    if you want people to leave race out of it, maybe you shouldn’t write a blog post complaining about race.

    Oh, and people don’t call me a German american, but if they did I wouldn’t be offended. Honestly, does it matter that much? Or do you just like to complain like everyone else?

  20. just stop

    The issue with describing the suspect, at that time, as someone of “African DESCENT(go to class, please. For all of our sakes.)” is that NO ONE KNEW WHO HE WAS. What if he wasn’t even of African descent??? Don’t be ignorant. Witnesses obviously didn’t get to sit down with the assailant and have a conversation about his family roots before he rode away on his bike. The only thing we knew about the suspect at the time of the emergency alert was that he was BLACK. It wasn’t racist until you made it that way.

  21. bportstudent

    You realize that this wasn’t the school’s description, it was given to them by the police. I understand what you are saying but I think there was a bigger matter at hand. Someone was stabbed and they were given information and it needed to be out there quickly. Rather than evaluating it so it didn’t’ hurt someone’s feelings they got it out there faster.

  22. Will Catar

    And if we described him as a white male? That’s ok
    Stop stabbing people and then we won’t even have to describe the scum you are

    Sick of this hypocritical nonsense

  23. Shuzzr

    Wouldn’t it be best to say “African American” or a young man of “African Dissent”. #justsaying

  24. bport

    Would you prefer to just leave race out of it so nobody has a clue who to look out for? It has nothing to do with singling out African Americans and trying to be racist towards them. If it was a white male, and described as such you’d have no issue with it whatsoever would you? There was nothing undermining about it.

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