SMU student punished for racist flier response

SMU student punished for racist flier response

DALLAS -- A Southern Methodist University student says she is a step away from suspension because of a flyer she posted on campus last fall to support black students.

Emily Walker, 25, says she is on disciplinary probation following a months-long investigation by university officials.

"They handed me one of the hardest punishments you can get on SMU," Walker said.

Walker believes she did nothing wrong. Last November, she created a flyer titled "Why White Women Should Date Black Men" and posted 150 copies around campus. It was a direct response to another flyer posted on campus that was full of racist claims, titled "Why White Women Shouldn't Date Black Men."

"I was like, 'I'm a white woman.' I'm going to show the author, 'No, sorry buddy. You didn't win,'" Walker said.

Walker is a married mother of two, studying advertising at SMU. She said she was working as an athletic trainer last year and saw how the original racist flyer directly impacted black student athletes.

"It hurt the black young men on our campus," she said.

But a week after she posted her flyers, she learned she was under investigation by the university. Walker said what was supposed to be a quick process turned into months of anxiety, and she was recently told of her probation punishment.

"If you do one thing wrong, you could be suspended and off this campus," Walker said. "I'm walking on thin ice."

SMU would not comment on Walker's situation or say whether the university punished anyone for posting the original racist flyer. In an email to WFAA, SMU spokesperson Kent Best wrote, "The university does not disclose information about student disciplinary matters in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act."

Walker said the university claimed her flyers added to a hostile environment on campus. Her flyer did use risqué generalizations about white men, but she says it was a satire to send a supportive message to black students. She believes her university is sending the wrong message in return.

"It tells me I can't speak out for other people," Walker said.

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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