Disincentivizing Anti-Black Racism: Kennesaw State University Cheerleader Sues

Photo Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0

Though Audre Lord’s quote that the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house is indeed accurate, they are able to do some damage.  Tommia Dean, one of the five Kennesaw State University cheerleaders who knelt during the national anthem last season, has brought a lawsuit against the university.  Kennesaw State University’s handling of the protests was abysmal, and included preventing the students from taking the field during the anthem, and the involvement of local officials advocating for the girls to be punished, actions clearly in violation of the students’ first amendment rights. To add insult to injury, all but one of the cheerleaders failed to make the 2018-2019 squad despite their experience and competence.  

Dean’s lawsuit is precisely the correct course of action in dealing with the egregious acts taken by KSU in response to their peaceful protest. Too many times institutions simply reverse course and do not face any substantive penalty for their inappropriate and racist retaliatory actions against individuals who choose not to stand for the national anthem.  A finding of liability will create a record of KSU’s actions, and exact a financial penalty that should give KSU pause regarding such actions in the future should more students decide to protest. 

Article below by Tanasia Kenney at atlantablackstar.com.

A Kennesaw State University sophomore filed a lawsuit last week accusing the school of violating her First Amendment rights in its handling of five cheerleaders who dropped to one knee in protest during the national anthem last year.

Read the rest here