Note from the Editor: We Still Have an Issue

In the wake of the news that the perpetrator of the racist actions on campus was a student of color, I feel the need to acknowledge not only that fact, but the fact that the stance of the publication is wholly unchanged.

Racism, in any form, is something to be condemned. If I knew the information I know now about the perpetrator being a student of color when information was published on the site, that wouldn’t change a thing. What that student did was wrong – regardless of the color of their skin.

The fact that it was a student of color who was behind the malice on campus doesn’t change the fact that we have a problem. Isn’t the fact that we so blindly believed the perpetrator to be white an issue in and of itself? This isn’t a problem because it’s “unfair to white people” or any of the claims like that that I’ve seen surface the internet. The reason we believed it is simply because it’s believable – that’s the problem. 

To this point, I would like to say that, prior to knowing the identity of the person behind these actions, while the Albion community responded to said actions by condemning racism, we never once explicitly stated that the perpetrator was white. We stood up against racism. We said white privilege was wrong. But these are facts that are true with or without the qualification of the person behind the actions being white.

Neither the publication nor the administration spread fake news by neglecting to point out that the perpetrator was a student of color – that was information we didn’t have when news began circulating. Instead, we didn’t identify the race. We didn’t identify the person’s pronouns. Any and all assumptions made about the person’s identity were made on an individual basis. Ask yourself: Did the news you read tell you that the perpetrator was white before the truth was unveiled? Or did your instinct tell you this?

Speaking for myself, it was my instinct, and I know this to be true of many others.

Our instinct told us that if anyone was to spread such hate and discrimination on campus, it had to be a white person. And it makes sense. White people have a history of spreading hate and continue to do so in order to assert superiority. Therein lies the problem.

As a white person, I see the fact that the history of my race has set us up for this instinct, and our continued actions in modern day society lead us to continue it. When hate is spread, we assume it’s a white person. Regardless of what the truth ends up being, before we know the truth, this is the most fair of assumptions.

White privilege is an issue. I stand by that. I will always stand by that. 

Before, during and after the identity of the perpetrator was found, it was Black students and Jewish students on campus who felt unsafe – not white. This is privilege.

White students on campus don’t fall victim to worrying about being hated on for the color of our skin. This is privilege. 

This is privilege that exists regardless of who was behind the recent actions on campus.

Before you ask yourself why we didn’t think the student behind these actions was a student of color, ask yourself why we automatically assumed it was a white person. For that, the blame falls back on white people for the narrative we have formed throughout history. The vast majority of racism is perpetrated and carried out by white people – we are the majority. Mathematically, it makes sense. And historically, it makes sense.

The Pleiad, and myself, stands by our statements earlier this week. I stand by the decision to save space for Black voices and the voices of those most deeply impacted on Wednesday. I stand by every word we put out earlier this week. Regardless of who instilled such fear upon campus, there is still work to be done on our campus, in our country and in the world. Equality does not exist if we cannot all live without fear. 

Earlier this week, we saw only some of our campus community wracked with fear at comments made toward them. That proves to me, again regardless of who was behind the actions, that we have work to do. Everyone deserves the right to feel safe at all times. If only some of us have that right violated and only some of us have that right protected, we do not have full equality.

We came together as one Albion this week. Regardless of what people on the outside want to say about our institution, my publication or the state of the world, I’m proud of all of my Albion peers for how we handled things in the midst of information we did not yet know. We fought for equality. That is something to be commended. If anyone has qualms about that, that’s a fight they should take up in their own heart.

Everyone who asks if I would change how things were handled if I knew then what I know now, my simple answer is no. There’s a reason I didn’t know that information at that point in time. There’s a reason why things had to transpire the way they did. In my mind, that reason is awareness – that racism is a pertinent threat and we always assume that threat is made on behalf of a white person.

White people, myself included, this was a call to us to do better so that people have no reason to make that assumption of us. There is change to be made in society, and that first comes with change within ourselves. This issue, in my mind, did not undermine the idea that our privilege is part of the problem, but rather solidified it.

About Jordan Revenaugh 80 Articles
Jordan Revenaugh is a senior from Rochester, Michigan. An aspiring journalist and author, she is a double major in psychology and English with a creative writing concentration. In addition to being Editor-in-Chief of the Pleiad, Jordan runs cross country and track, is a part of Delta Gamma and InterVarsity, and is a dedicated avocado enthusiast.


  1. Uh no, you don’t have an issue. A black person did this to attract attention, create drama and drive a wedge into the campus. If you are white, and you still feel like you need to self-flagellate because a black person cried wolf (or racism), you’re pathetic. If you do feel the need to do this, stay in school young lads and lasses because we in the real world are going to chew you up and spit pieces of you out when you graduate 😉

  2. I wholly support this editor, this editorial, and the Pleiad coverage this week. As for the other commenters who make kindergarten comments or fantasize of spitting and chewing, put a little adult thought into your critique. In the interim, my money’s on Jordan.

  3. Perhaps this author should do an article on the race of homicide perpetrators in the cities of Chicago, Philly, Detroit, Baltimore, Oakland, St Louis, NYC, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Birmingham, & Nashville. Perhaps the author would be interested in educating the public about possible reasons that police may have for stopping people of color more often than others. But, she’ll probably just refuse to address this topic, and choose to talk about how white people must change.

  4. Michael Haines,
    Stop being a white knight. And stop regurgitating what your college professors tell you to think, and actually form your own opinion.

  5. Good article. Don’t back down. These soup sandwiches in the comments are mad because you were intellectually honest. Love, someone in The Real World.

  6. Thank you for this important editorial. I am a white alum and I stand with you, your words and convictions. I have appreciated the work the college has done in recent years as the campus has become more diverse, but there is so much work still to be done. And frankly, regardless of the race of the person involved in this recent incident, most of this work has to be done by us white folks who have historically been racist and who hold significant privilege. Your voice gives me hope for the future of Albion. As an alum, I will look for ways to amplify that. Thank you.

  7. Jordan, thank you for your honest and courageous words. I’m so glad to see student leaders take time to unpack complex issues of race.
    The broad Albion community is unique is many ways, but also reflects the larger picture of our country. There are people whose power and privilege are threatened by discussion of equity and fairness – and they will do everything they can to silence you. Don’t let them stop you from asking the questions. Keep exploring what it means to “do better” for underrepresented communities, on and off campus.

  8. “Before, during and after the identity of the perpetrator was found, it was Black students on campus who felt unsafe – not white. ”

    What about the Jewish community on campus? The perpetrator was responsible for anti-Semitism.

    “I stand by the decision to save space for Black voices on Wednesday.”

    What about Jewish voices?

    “What that student did was wrong – regardless of the color of their skin.”

    Then why aren’t you using your platform to call for harshest punishment possible against the perpetrator? Why isn’t the Pleiad demanding the expulsion of the perpetrator, and for the college to file criminal charges immediately for this someone who “spreads hate” and anti-Semitism?

  9. The author did mention Jewish voices, in case you didn’t see.

    Calling for change and calling for the punishment of the perpetrator are not mutually exclusive actions. Some seem to have simply missed the point of this part of the article.

  10. Beautifully put, Jordan. Thank you so much for your intelligent and insightful words. You are a brilliant leader, and I am proud to call you my classmate.

  11. This sort of infantile denialism is incentivizing future attention deprived brats around the country to create more hate crime hoaxes. To answer your original question, no I didn’t automatically assume the “perpetrator” was white. My first instinct was that this was yet another hoax. 666 with a star? How childish and ridiculous. If you took that graffiti seriously, you are an idiot. But now, because of intellectual and moral cowards like yourself, dozens and dozens of other attention seekers will feel immunized from the consequences of perpetrating false flag hoaxes that will scare their fellow students and keep perpetrating them. Congratulations, and enjoy your student loans.

  12. Also, let’s take a moment to consider white privilege as it exists here. Yes White privilege exists in many manifestations. But this isn’t one. The hoax perpetrator here was not named. If this were a “Real” hate crime, without a doubt, 1000%, the white perpetrator would have been named. You know it, I know it, and everyone on campus knows it. Secondly, the student who perpetrated this, by virtue of his skin color, will NOT face the consequences that a white student would have. Would you like to bet that he is neither criminally charged nor expelled? He will be coddled and patronized instead. Third, what word comes to mind in the instant situation, where a student falsifies a hate crime to further his agenda – and is rewarded for it? That’s right – Privilege.

  13. $49k a year to produce the next wave of leftist non thinking sheep responsible for the destruction of America. Time to interview the editor: “How do you feel, Jordan, making excuses for a criminal racist?” “Given your abject failure to investigate, and then running the false story that rips apart societal fabric, do you feel in any way responsible for creating the problem?” “Have you submitted a resume to CNN yet?”

  14. It doesn’t matter what your race is. This action is unacceptable. Nothing more than inciting drama, causing more tension and bad publicity. There are better ways to make a statement rather than trying to fabricate a racial incident. Why wouldnt anyone not come to the conclusion it was a white person? Aren’t “white people” automatically associated with the KKK? I appreciate your trying to smooth over the fact that this was a shameful act regardless of your race or religion. The intent was to cause a larger divide. Who’s the racist one here ?

  15. “Our instinct told us that if anyone was to spread such hate and discrimination on campus, it had to be a white person. And it makes sense. White people have a history of spreading hate and continue to do so in order to assert superiority. Therein lies the problem”
    Substitute “Our instinct” with our (your) implicit bias developed and promoted by “our” university, professors, and equally critical thinking deficient peers. You are paying too much for an unscientific, psuedo-academic theory that exists on belief.
    You fancy yourself a journalist, how about a deep dive on racial hoaxes on college campuses. You might want to shelve your instinct and go with an educated guess next time and you might have been correct prior to the facts.

  16. I am expatriated in Japan and have been for quite some time. The United States is divided likely beyond repair at this point in time. Actions such as this (I would say an anti semitic hate crime) further divide our country and will accelerate the disentigration of the United States. Furthermore, the Albion administration should step up and acknowledge they rushed to judgment on this. It is still possible to state that racism is abhorrant and must be challenged when necessary and at the same time admit a mistake was made. It saddens me to watch all of this from overseas, especially when it involves my alma mater.

  17. This is “black privilege” at its finest. A black person committed a crime, and when exposed, we are told it is somehow STILL white people’s fault.

    The perpetrator of this hoax should be expelled and charged with a hate crime, because that’s exactly what it is.

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