A Penn student wrote in a recent Daily Pennsylvanian column that he would "not recommend" that other minorities attend the university due to racially charged incidents he experienced at the school.
The student, Christopher Abreu, who is black, claims that he was harassed twice last weekend when coming home from a party in the early morning. In the first incident, Abreu says four white students spoke to him in mock slang and asked him repeatedly, " You belong here or what?"
Later, Abreu claims that a white student called him a racial slur and asked him where he could " get some fried chicken."
Abreu elaborated on his time at Penn:
The idea of "belonging here" is the long-term wound. Ever since I came here, I have been self-conscious. You have to understand that Penn is extremely different from most schools, in that the vast majority comes from a much wealthier background. I grew up in the projects, surrounded by crime and drugs. I came from there to here without much help, and in May I will graduate cum laude.
But that isn't good enough. I've always felt like an outsider here.
And later offered a hypothetical warning to future students:
I'm lucky that I only have a month left here. The social atmosphere and unwelcoming environment for minorities at Penn is more draining than any class you could ever take.
Yesterday, I saw a Penn Preview Days tour on my way to class. I again played the counting game.
Two black men. I saw two of them. No Latinos.
I wanted to stop them and warn them. "Please don't come here. I don't want you to go through what I've gone through."
Abreu's column has sparked a robust discussion on the Pennsylvanian's website. One commenter wrote that Abreu's experience "is one common to many black male students (the few that there are) on prestigious college campuses around the country."
However, another wrote that "to define racism on Penn's campus as white on black, and to plea for all HIspanics and black students to not come here because of that incident seems like an over-simplification of a more complicated issue."