The Grand Canyon State’s flagship university, Arizona State University (ASU), is no stranger to cancel culture as of late. But its administration reprimanded two of its students after they filmed a viral video, which showed that they began a one-sided argument with white students over racism in the campus’s multicultural center.
The female students who were reprimanded— Mastaani Qureshi and Sarra Tekola—blasted the university for allegedly discriminating against them because they are ethnic minorities. In a nine-minute video posted to social media, the students claimed that the university “openly discriminated against us.” They said, “Dear White People, A.K.A. ASU — You openly discriminated against us on November 16 when you handed down your decision from your racially biased investigation.” Qureshi added, “We’re being persecuted for defending our multicultural center from racism and sexism … ASU is a violent place.”
The pair also accused ASU of “ignoring marginalized students” and said that since the viral video appeared, they have received threats on social media that have caused them “emotional and psychological violence.”
Black Lives Matter and other left-wing activists rallied in support of Qureshi and Tekola the day before the investigation’s findings were handed down on November 15. Speakers at the rally urged ASU’s administration to not issue any punishment.
After an investigation, the state’s Board of Regents charged them with a code of conduct violation in November 2021 and they were found guilty of interfering with university activities. However, the investigation did not find sufficient evidence to find the students guilty for violating the university’s harassment policies. Charges against a third student involved in the situation were dropped.
ASU issued a warning to the two students and asked them to write about holding civil conversations and explain how they would handle similar situations in the future. ASU’s Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities stated, “In this instance, the confrontation captured on video was not respectful dialogue, and its heated nature in an enclosed space where numerous other students were studying caused disruption to their activities as well as to the previously quiet study activities of the students who you confronted.”
Fox News reported that the pair filmed their confrontation with two male white students last September and accused these students of racism. One of the students had a sticker that read, “Police Lives Matter” and the other student wore a shirt that said, “Did Not Vote for Biden.”:
Either Qureshi or Tekola told the white students, “This is the violence that ASU does and this is the type of people that they protect. Okay, this white man thinks he can take up our space. And this is why we need a multicultural space, because they think they can get away with this s—t.”
When accused of racism, one of the white male students said, “I’m not racist, I’m just studying.” He continued, “I pay the same f—ing tuition as you. I’m working 60 hours a week while going to school because my parents don’t just give me money!” The same student packed up his books and belongings and walked away.