Washington, Oct 12 (IANS) Students at the Georgia Southern University burned books written by a Cuban-American author after she discussed about white privilege during a lecture, it was reported.
The author, Jennine Capo Crucet, was invited to the university’s main campus in Statesboro on Wednesday evening to discuss her new book, “My Time Among the Whites: Notes From an Unfinished Education”, as part of the varsity’s orientation programme for first-year students, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) newspaper said in a report.
Crucet, an American-born daughter of Cuban immigrants, said she was asked to speak about diversity and the college experience. She discussed white privilege during the meeting.
A white, female student questioned her credentials to discuss such topics, sparking a heated exchange among students, Crucet said in a statement issued on Friday.
The author said that she later learned on Twitter about the book burning.
A six-second video posted on Twitter showed a group of about a half-dozen people laughing as a small fire burned. The video has been viewed more than 124,000 times.
“To think of those students watching as a group of their peers burned that story – effectively erasing them on the campus they are expected to think of as a safe space – feels devastating,” The AJC quoted Crucet as saying in her statement.
Her scheduled appearance at the university campus on Thursday was cancelled.
In a message to faculty and students, the university’s president, Kyle Marrero said: “While it’s within the students’ First Amendment rights, book burning does not align with Georgia Southern’s values nor does it encourage the civil discourse and debate of ideas.
“I wish our students had engaged in a reasoned discussion. And yes, I wish these discussions had not deteriorated or led to broad generalizations that paint an ugly picture about our university.”
While book burning is considered constitutionally protected speech, it is usually not well-received.
The most infamous book burnings were staged by Adolf Hitler and the Nazis as part of their propaganda campaign against Jews.