Racist acts by students at ETSU, Belmont condemned

By Marshall A. Latimore
SOTG Executive editor

A White college student attempted to use racist antics to provoke a Black Lives Matter protest at East Tennessee State University, where several Black students were peacefully protesting police brutality. 

Tristan Rettke, a white freshman male, wore a gorilla mask and carried a sack with a Confederate flag printed on the side. He eventually reached in the sack and pulled out bananas in front of the Black students.

At one point, he tied a noose around the banana in a manner that would mimic lynching. During Rettke’s spectacle, Black students remained calm and ignored his antics.

Rettke was eventually escorted off campus and arrested. Rettke has since been suspended by ETSU and was charged with civil rights intimidation. If convicted, Rettke could possibly be sentenced to 12 years in prison and fined $5K for the violation.

Elsewhere in the state, a Belmont University student has been expelled from the school after a racist social media post went viral.

The former student, took to Snapchat with an image of black players for the Philadelphia Eagles raising their fists during the national anthem.

The text accompanying the image included the threat of violence with a “bullet in the head” and referred to the players as “piece of shit n-ggers,” adding, “If you don’t like this country get the hell out.”

A statement was posted via the Belmont University’s Facebook page on Sept. 27.

“We reject comments rooted in racism or bigotry. This is not free speech—this is hate speech,” the statement read. “As a Christian institution, it is our goal to build a diverse and inclusive community where all members feel accepted, safe and valued.”

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Racist acts by students at ETSU, Belmont condemned

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