#1. INSTITUTONAL RACISM
I have never, EVER, been so disappointed in my alma mater than this weekend. Michigan State athletics decision-making was racist on Saturday, and it had nothing to do with football.
I met a friend last year, he has become one of my absolute best friends, he is from the Middle East. Just a fun guy. Let's call him Brian. Well, Sloth gave Brian a ticket to the game. His #1 goal in life is to be an American. After this weekend at MSU, I wonder why he would want to be American.
Brian is an amateur photographer. Luckily for him, he has a beautiful system with a 12" lens, etc. That likely is what threw the MSU staff off-kilter. So, he went from one gate to the next at Spartan Stadium to ask about the credential necessary. He stated everyone was very friendly, yet it got to the point when one individual denied him entry because of his camera. And then the police were involved. This is what happened, it is unacceptable behavior unless you are [I removed this per the request of that individual involved]. From Brian's account:
I told her multiple times about my intentions, and was understanding and willing to cooperate (not challenge them to get in), but was simply trying to understand the reasoning behind it, and get a full explanation. She repeatedly told me that “the lens is too big, that’s all you need to know, I do not need to explain any further and this conversation is over”. When I told her that “Well, that doesn’t help me understand why?”, she got intimidated, the first guy that came downstairs reached to his radio, and she started threatening me. "I will call the police if you don’t leave," and the police actually showed up in seconds. She recognized me from Gate G/H, she did not do anything to me, but simply escorted me from the lobby area.
The reason why she said "this conversation is over? I will call the police..." My friend has a funny accent; he is from the Middle East. RACIST.
Brian sent me a text message when I was in my seats, MSU up 14-7, stating he was "not allowed in." I couldn't believe it. He shared his reasons and I went downstairs to talk to an assistant for Spartan Stadium administration, "Kevin." I was very, very angry. I informed Kevin of my disappointment at how Spartan Stadium staff marginalized my friend. My friend sent me a text message in the middle of our conversation, of which I shared with Kevin; he read it and appreciated the conversation. I told him I was "extremely pissed off and disappointed."
My friend left and went to a local pub and sent me text messages as he was crying. Crying? He wants to be an American. Notably, he does not want me to share this because he is afraid of repercussions. It's sad. I have informed him he should sue MSU.
What you are reading above about MSU is called institutional racism. It is absolutely unacceptable and embarrassing. This is a travesty. I am appalled.
#2 HOMECOMING? NOT.
You know what also sucks? Is when your beloved city (City of East Lansing) tickets everyone who drives in to town because of "homecoming." Big Bob and Michelle each received $35 tickets for driving up and spending their time and money watching the Spartans lose. This is everything that is wrong about East Lansing. What kind of welcome is a parking ticket? It's cold.
Welcome to the People's Republic of East Lansing.
I HATE THIS CITY. Complete lack of respect by decision-makers. And racism to boot. I need to leave the People's Republic.