DU’s own response to racism juxtaposed with national reaction and reflection

As if everyone already doesn’t know, there has been a lot of disturbing news lately. Not just nationally with COVID-19 and the racist murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and most recently, George Floyd, but in our own backyard as well. A photograph showed a prospective DU student, who was slated to enroll this fall, wearing blackface with a racist caption (his admission was later rightly revoked by DU), and a 40-year-old DU yearbook photo resurfaced showing a DU residence hall floor dressed in white robes surrounding a black student. In response, current DU students have initiated a petition and are demanding special accommodations for students of color during this time.

Like many others, we at LetsGoDU are reflecting on all of these issues, and thinking deeply about ways that we, as individuals and as a collective, can improve. Our hope during this time is that DU, its students, fans, and its alumni community listen, learn, and become a better community.

We are an independent sports blog with a stated mission to support school spirit by informing and entertaining the DU community and sports fans. We will continue to look for positive ways to bring people together through a shared love of DU athletics and traditions. Sports can be a great escape from the daily grind, but they are also part of our society. And frankly, athletics are one of the common avenues that can bring us all – alumni, students, the Denver community, and our Denver Pioneer athletes – together.

To close, we urge you to listen to DU alumnus and pro lacrosse star Trevor Baptiste, who recently shared his thoughtful insights on race, sports, and our society on Instagram.

We stand with Trevor, and with all Pioneers who want a better country for all.

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Peace and love. #ripgeorgefloyd

A post shared by Trevor Baptiste (@trevorbaptiste9) on

17 thoughts on “DU’s own response to racism juxtaposed with national reaction and reflection”

  1. Thank you LetsGoDU for sharing this. The video from Trevor is very classy and thought provoking. It should be widely shared in the DU and Lacrosse communities!

  2. This is Dunker. Very well written 100% accurate account of the past 48 hours. Yesterday I did
    share Trevor’s interview on a college lacrosse site with over 11,000 members. In some major lax magazine, I read a story which will make you all sad at how Trevor was treated as a teenager. I’ll send here if I can find it.
    A black friend of mine made this statement on FACEBOOK yesterday: if you are my friend, we have discussed racism at some point. If you think we are friends and we have never discussed racism, you are acquaintance. Thought provoking to me.

    Stay safe, peace all

  3. Great points Dunker. Appreciated your comments and posts on the DU Have Spirit Facebook page. Thought provoking stuff.

  4. Trevor is one of the finest young men I’ve ever seen wear the Crimson and Gold in over 40 years of following DU sports, in any sport, as an athlete, student and as a human being.

    To hear his thoughts on this terrible time was important for me. And it’s not just his words – it’s seeing his body language, his eyes, his tone of voice and the way he’s trying to process the real pain that he (and much of the black community) are going through right now.

    We all need to listen.

    He is asking us some important questions…

  5. Man, Trevor is a good dude. Thought provoking video.

    I can’t overstate how much more valuable his perspective is, than “petitions for special accomodations” that are referenced in the article. The wise people like Trevor realize that changing race relations, minds, and perspectives takes dialogue and self reflection, not demands for accomodations and knee jerk anger and destruction. Presenting a college with a list of your demands just generates eyerolls, empty attempts to placate, and changes zero minds.

  6. Amazing, thought-provoking video. Thank you for posting and thank you, Trevor. I think his message is exactly what many of us need to hear and process. By digging deep, processing our thoughts and perceptions, and then having a meaningful and honest conversation, we can take an important first step in trying to understand what the black community has faced and is facing. I think that type of reflection is a foundation first step.

  7. DU gave a half assed attempt at BLM by informing employees the day before Juneteenth that they get the day off. The majority had no idea what this day was or what it stands for before a month ago.

    The tennis pavilion is named after a member of the KKK. DU must take down all signage immediately and issue a public apology for honoring a racist. #canceldu

  8. You are misinformed about the Tennis Pavillion donor and its namesake.

    It’s more tricky than that.

    The Pavillion is NOT named after Ben Stapleton (1869-1950), the former mayor of Denver who certainly was in the KKK in the 1920s.

    Mayor Ben Stapleton’s SON’s family, headed by Benjamin Jr. (1919-1993) was the donor family of the DU Tennis Pavillion, which was built in the late 1990s. The actual donor of the Pavillion was Ben Junior’s wife (and widow), Denver philanthropist Katie Stapleton, who died in 2019.

    Should the son’s family suffer for the sins of the father? Should DU not have accepted the gift, as the son (Ben Jr.) had no known connection to the KKK?

    “Fathers shall not be put to death because of their children, nor shall children be put to death because of their fathers”.

    1. No surprise this blog is taking the stance supporting racism considering your unwavering support of Boone.

      The university accepted funds and is honoring the family with direct ties to the KKK.

      DU is providing a direct avenue to promoting racism by anyone that steps foot on those tennis courts. DU must take down the Stapleton name wherever it lies on campus and on the web and issue a public apology for promoting racism.

      The school should tear down the tennis courts and build an education center for racial equality. That would be more meaningful than a 3-day weekend that was given for Juneteenth.

  9. Laughable to say that ‘DU is promoting racism.” Walker Stapleton, a decendent of the mayor, came out in favor of removing the name of his grandfather from the stapleton neighborhood. Should we ‘delete’ Walker Stapleton’s view because he is a blood relative? Looks like you are more interested in labeling, name calling and payback than honest dialog. Must be tough being you.

  10. Nothing laughable about racism and DU’s continued ties to it. According to their tweet, Juneteenth is a day of reflection, learning, and action. Let’s hope DU spent this time reflecting how they are promoting racism, learn from it, and will take action by removing the Stapleton name. They should use those funds that were given to them by that family for promoting racial equality.

    It’s not tough calling out the high level of hypocrisy DU is displaying right now. Delete Stapleton and delete Boone and apologize for fostering racism and hate.

  11. No one here at this blog (or at DU for that matter) is promoting racism or hate.

    Pioneers built the school, city and state as we know it. Acknowledging their accomplishments, and DU’s traditions of honoring them, is not racist or hateful behavior.

    As for the Stapleton name, painting an entire family as racists for the sins of one family member who was a racist 100 years ago, is a form of bigotry. You should evaluate people on their individual merits, not on their last name.

    All of us are sensitive to concerns of the marginalized and support their journey as members of the DU community. Part of being a member of the community is understanding the culture and traditions that link generations of Pioneers together. And if these special DU traditions are truly that offensive to you, perhaps you should choose a school that better fits your views.

  12. There are zero sensitivity concerns on this blog with your blind allegiance to the pioneer name.

    Same can be said for DU with everyday that passes with the Stapleton name plastered around campus.

    Delete Boone and Delete Stapleton and publicly apologize to those that have been affected!

  13. Apologize? For What? To Whom? Would the apology even be accepted?

    DU is a private university. The Pioneer nickname has been hashed, rehashed & thrice hashed by the Board of Trustees. Any incoming student is free to select another school elsewhere if the nickname causes too much emotional trauma. But lets face it, this is just another smokescreen for the woke crowd to virtue signal.

    DU is not a racist school. There is not any racism on campus. Never has been. The school bends over backwards to be accepting & inclusive of everyone.

  14. Statue that commemorates the sand creek massacre torn down outside the Capitol building. Who was governor during that time and authorized it??? Was it a prominent figure in DU’s history????? This movement will not stop!!!

    Apologize publicly DU!!! Delete Boone! Delete Stapleton! Delete Evans!!!

  15. There is no evidence that Evans ordered the attack. Northwestern study confirmed that. DU used the word “culpable” because they could find any proof either.

    I’ve been told that Evans was in Washington DC when incident took place.

    1. More statues coming down today Lamian!! Evans is as good as gone. Your precious Boone and Stapleton soon to follow! Cancel all of it and publicly apologize now DU!

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