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Hundreds gather at College of Charleston to protest racist video

College of Charleston protest. (WCIV)

Today an estimated 700 protesters showed up at the College of Charleston's Cistern yard.

Students, faculty and administration are concerned about a racist video that they say was taken by a fellow student.

Today the Charleston Activist Network organized the protest over a student’s reported actions.

“We need to unite and ignite, by that I mean we need to start a fire and keep that flame going cause often it dies,” said one of the protesters.

Campus leaders said they hoped to see justice in the case of a racist video that students say was shot by a fellow student on a college field trip.

College of Charleston junior Maya Simmons said, “We are trying to get our voice heard trying to get that he is held accountable for his actions. He shouldn’t have felt comfortable enough to say these things on camera, posted on social media especially when he is representing the school.”

Even freshman students stood up to speak, saying they already felt displaced.

“I am here as a freshman and I feel like I don’t belong here,” said one student.

Interim College of Charleston President Stephen Osborne attended the rally. In a letter sent to students, he wrote, “I heard the pain in their voices and heard clearly their frustration. For many of our community, this incident feels like yet another weight of oppression, aggression and intimidation. I know so many are tired of reading more words—more words that just seem to ring hollow.”

Osborne says the campus community needs to be proactive in their response.

The protesters spoke of joining together on committees to tackle racist issues.

For now they came together to pray, chant and console each other.

“Once you leave the cistern your words matter but your actions matter too once those words are out of your mouth you can’t put them back in,” a student said.

The College of Charleston spokesperson says the College learned of this incident on Tuesday, March 5 and immediately launched an investigation.

The students who are said to be involved are currently participating in the college’s student code of conduct hearing.


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