Brigham Young panelist on what it means to be black and an immigrant face racist questions

They had just explained what it meant to each of them to be black and an immigrant. Then the five panelists at a Brigham Young University event sat quietly as they waited for the audience questions to come in.

Those in the crowd could send one by typing it into their phone on the event page. And each time someone did, an anonymous question would pop up for everyone to see. The screen was quickly filled.

An example of some of the questions the panelists received:

  • “What is the percentage of African Americans on food stamps?”
  • “Why do African Americans hate the police?”
  • “Why don’t we have any white people on stage?”

According to the Tribune, the uncalled for questions caused some in the majority white audience to laugh.

However, the Black students there, and the university itself are far from laughing. 

“The fact that the people made the effort to come to the panel and attack us is disgusting and honestly a waste of time,” Tendela Tellas, a sophomore at BYU who spoke at the event and whose mother is an immigrant from the Democratic Republic of the Congo told the news site. “I honestly don’t know how BYU can stop this again, but there needs to be a solution.”


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