The University of Alabama must immediately expel Ryan Parish or it will lose standing in the fight for racial justice.
As an alumnus of the University, I can’t conscience sharing a degree with the likes of a person like Mr. Parish.
His remaining as a student at Alabama would cheapen all of us and would cheapen the efforts made in recent decades to fix the wrongs of hundreds of years of state sponsored white supremacy.
And our University should rise to the occasion and do the right thing.
For those that are just becoming aware of the situation, Mr. Parish is a pre law student at the University.
He got into a heated back and forth on a publicly viewable Facebook ticket exchange with some students over his disagreements with a student led protest of the nation anthem at last week’s football game.
He then called a fellow student a “nigger” and said that he would kill that person if they spoke to him “wrong.”
After his online comments were posted publicly, they spread wildly on social media.
The University promptly suspended him. And they were right to do so.
However, they have not gone far enough.
Mr. Parish must be expelled from the University of Alabama.
This is not a matter of free speech.
And it is not a matter of education.
It is about hate. Plain and simple.
Mr. Parish can’t be taught not to say those things to a fellow human being in a college setting.
Attending the University of Alabama is a privilege, not a right.
And Mr. Parish is not the type of person that we should want at our fair Capstone.
We already have so much to atone for and we have already graduated enough white supremacists in our history.
George Wallace was enough for all history.
Don Black is a living shame.
On matters of racial justice, Alabama cannot be mealy-mouthed.
It must have zero tolerance for racism and lead the nation in standing up for the rights of minorities and in being an example for how we want our society to be in the future.
Mr. Parish’s racist tirade on social media is not an isolated incident in recent UA history.
It took another national shame- and scores of national reporters to invade the Capstone to lead to the start of desegregation of sororities on campus. That was only three years ago.
Mr. Parish did apologize for his comments in a post on social media:
“I’m absolutely torn and saddened. I apologize so much for what I said. I know an apology isn’t enough but I’ll do what I can to make up for it. I love every student here. I made a TERRIBLE mistake and I can’t apologize enough. I’m sorry students of Alabama. I am not that type of person.”
What you can do Mr. Parish is commit your life to fighting to racial justice and work to change your heart.
But the University of Alabama should not be spending a dime trying to do it for you.
We have progress to make and we need all hands on deck.