I am deeply disturbed today after reading about OU’s allegations towards Jabar Shumate and his alleged misuse of university property.
This abuse, from the evidence that has been given by the university, amounts to nothing more than use of a company car for personal reasons on select occasions. An ultimatum between immediate resignation or termination from the university seems to be a rather disproportional punishment considering the offense.
I can’t help but notice that a black man faces more scrutiny from this university than white faculty members and university donors have in the past for sexual harassment and abuse towards students.
Such actions make one wonder where the university’s priorities are. Why are OU students’ health and safety less important to the University of Oklahoma than company property?
Jabar Shumate’s position was created as a direct consequence of blatant racism on this campus, and his forced resignation for the “improper use of university assets” seemingly perpetuates a legacy of racial bias when other and worse offenses committed on campus haven’t been treated similarly.
Why is the university turning a blind eye towards white men who prey on and endanger students but will publicly oust a person of color for driving home – even if it is in a university car?
With this decision, the University of Oklahoma and President Gallogly have made it clear that some people are just less important than others in this community, and it is deeply troubling that harmful injustices perpetuated again human beings unlike this one will not be dealt with out in public.
Hannah Grillot is a dramaturgy and international development senior at OU and a guest columnist for The Daily.
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