Student calls on President Obama to help end racism at SIU


By Anna Spoerre, @AnnaSpoerre

While May 2 protesters were preparing signs on Sunday, SIU student Evan Brown was standing in front of the White House protesting recent racism on campus.

“I knew everybody was going to be in Carbondale so I figured I would just go to the White House,” Brown said of the May 2 protests where hundreds gathered on campus Monday. “I figured if anybody could at least help it would be the president.”

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Even though Brown — a graduate student in professional media and media management from Chicago — said he was not able to see President Barack Obama or even go into the White House, he still stood outside the historic building to make a statement.

Brown, who may be better known as the voice in the SIU YouTube channel video “Saluki — Justin Bieber remix,” said he decided to drive 800 miles to Washington, D.C., after a racist YoutTube video “SIUC White is Right” was posted April 21.

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“It’s 2016 and we shouldn’t feel unwelcome anywhere we go in the United States,” he said, referring to lynching threats made in the video that was later taken down for violating YouTube’s policy on hate speech.

When Brown — joined by SIU alumni — arrived at the White House, they held up signs that included the phrases, “Mr. President, we need your help,” “Stop the racism” and “It’s 2016 #SIUC.”

Brown said he plans to continue speaking out against racism and injustice on campus when he returns Tuesday morning.

“It just needs to come to an end, especially at SIU,” he said. 


Anna Spoerre can be reached at [email protected] or 618-536-3325.