Racist student arrested for taunting Black people at Black Lives Matter rally

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Photo: Timia Easley

A White college student attempted to use racist antics to provoke members of Black Lives Matter. The incident occurred at East Tennessee State University when several Black students decided to protest police brutality. One student held a sign that read, “Black Lives Matter (is not equal to) All Lives Matter.”

Tristan Rettke, a White freshman, wore a gorilla mask and carried a sack with a Confederate flag printed on the side. He eventually reached in the sack and pulled out bananas in front of the Black students. At one point, he tied a noose around the banana in a manner that would mimic lynching.

During Rettke’s racist foolishness, Black students remained calm and ignored his antics. Rettke was eventually escorted off campus and arrested.

Although systematic racism is often more damaging than racist antics by a college student, Rettke and other like-minded millennials, carry the legacy of racism in America. They became the racist police officers, racist prosecutors, racist judges, and racist lawmakers who keep racism alive.

It proves that this nation won’t be able to get over its horrid past until it confronts the real issues. The United Nation recently purported that America owes Blacks reparations due to slavery, segregation, racial terrorism, and the recent police shootings of unarmed Black men. They also stated that police violence against Blacks has become a “human rights crisis” that “must be addressed as a matter of urgency.”

Those issues will continue unless racist mindsets aren’t changed. The next generation of employees and leaders will shape how racism is controlled in the future.

Rettke has since been suspended by East Tennessee State University and was charged with civil rights intimidation. If convicted, Rettke could possibly be sentenced to 12 years in prison and fined $5K for the violation.

A.R. Shaw
A.R. Shaw

A.R. Shaw is an author and journalist who documents culture, politics, and entertainment. He has covered The Obama White House, the summer Olympics in London, and currently serves as Lifestyle Editor for Rolling Out magazine. Follow his journey on Twitter @arshaw and Instagram @arshaw23.

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