Adrianna San Marco is leaving Syracuse University weeks after being fired as a columnist at the student-led newspaper for writing a column questioning “institutional racism.” Facing threats from her peers, she no longer feels safe on New York campus.
In an email sent to the student writer, leaders at the school paper, The Daily Orange, determined her opinion article, which ran on the conservative website LifeZette, included “racial undertones” and the school needed to distanced itself from San Marco because “not all opinions should be amplified through our platform,” The Daily Wire reported.
On Sunday, San Marco said she will not be returning to the private university over concerns for her physical safety.
“For weeks, I have received continuous harassment by my peers,” she wrote in a statement. “The threats made against my life have destroyed my sense of safety on Syracuse University’s campus, and I have done everything in my limited amount of power to combat them. Despite this, I have reached a point in this seemingly impossible battle where I am forced to recognize the very real and present threat to my wellbeing.”
In the article, which The Daily Orange editor-in-chief Casey Darnell described as “particularly harmful to our black community members,” San Marco referenced a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America that showed “no overall evidence of anti-black or anti-Hispanic disparities in fatal shootings.”
“The current media trend indicates that blacks are targeted by the police; however, new research reports just the opposite,” wrote San Marco. “A study released in late 2019 found ‘no evidence of anti-black or anti-Hispanic disparities’ across police shootings. The findings continue, citing that ‘white officers are not more likely to shoot minority civilians than non-white officers.’”
Instead, she continued, “police are far more likely to kill whites during a confrontation. For example, in 2017, 457 white Americans were shot to death by the police in comparison to 223 black Americans.”
San Marco added context, noting black Americans make up 13% of the U.S. population. Black men in particular account for only 6.6% of the national population but make up 33% of cop killers.
“As politicians are working to find solutions to police violence,” wrote San Marco, “having a comprehensive understanding of the statistics is essential. The idea of institutional racism existing in the U.S. is a myth.”
The column in question ran on June 5. San Marco was officially removed from her post at The Daily Orange a few days later.
At the time, Darnell told San Marco in an email that her article “belittles and delegitimizes the lived experiences of black people at a time when thousands of Americans are taking to the streets to protest the deadly effects of racism.”
“The Daily Orange’s opinion section prides itself on sharing the perspectives of all SU students, but we recognize that not all opinions should be amplified through our platform,” the editor-in-chief wrote. “Though your columns at The D.O. may not touch on topics similar to those published at LifeZette, columns written for other publications continue to reflect The D.O.’s editorial standards, especially in whom we choose to give a platform.”
“As such,” she continued, “we have decided to end your association with The D.O. as a columnist. We ask that you remove all references to The D.O. from your social media and cease representing yourself as a columnist for The D.O.”