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NCCU Chancellor: Op-Ed Piece Not University's View

Posted April 24, 2007

— Views in an inflammatory column in North Carolina Central University’s campus newspaper are not those of the university, Chancellor James Ammons said in a statement released Tuesday.

The column, “Death to all Rapists,” was published in the April 18 edition of “The Campus Echo” and refers to the dismissal of sexual assault and kidnapping charges against three white Duke University lacrosse players who were indicted and arrested after a black N.C. Central student told police she was raped at a party last March.

“We black people (while we may be able to bribe judges like white people) cannot expect justice from the American legal system, period,” writes Solomon Burnette, a senior at the university.

Burnette calls for “retributive correction” and says it is time to fight “whether intellectually, artistically or physically.”

“In no way does the university advocate violence as a means to seek justice,” Ammons said, noting that the views expressed were those of one student, Solomon Burnette, and neither those necessarily of the newspaper or the school.

The Campus Echo has a policy of accepting opinions submissions from students, faculty, staff and community members, a disclaimer before the column reads, “and respects their freedom of expression according to the First Amendment.”

The newspaper’s editor, Rony Camille, told WRAL Tuesday that the decision to publish the column came after a debate among staff members and that freedom of speech ultimately won out.

Ammons went on to say in his statement to say that although Burnette has a right to express his opinion, “we also know that the freedom of speech comes with the responsibility to be fair and accountable. We also believe that the facts do matter in this case and every legal case and violence is not the answer.”

Camille said the paper has gotten about a dozen e-mails from people outside the university community critical of the column and the paper.


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  • 2little2late Apr 26, 2007

    RE:" part of the reason he is as old as he is and still attending college would be the 13 month prison sentence after pleading "no contest" to charges of robbing two Duke students AT GUNPOINT."...this may be the funniest and saddest part of the whole story...maybe he should go after his attorney...or the Duke kids that "snitched" on him...un-be-lievable

  • FloydRTurbo Apr 25, 2007

    This Eldridge Cleaver wannabee is NOT "a columnist". He is just some hot head with a keyboard. The "issue" is not what he wrote .... but that the NCCU paper thought it served a worthwhile purpose to promote his radical opinion. They gave him access to their paper .... question them. Not him.

  • wakeraised Apr 25, 2007

    There was a situation in Wilmington, NC where two police officers responded to a call about a unclothed black gentleman. While one of the officers was close to him perhaps arresting; the gentleman went for his gun and shot if off twice. Subsequently, his rookie partner shot the gentleman and he died. The black community in Wilmington protested and acted like he was shot only because of his race. He plainly was shot because he gained control of an officers weapon and posed a deadly threat against them. The North Carolina SBI proved via balistics, and via video evidence that the officers were responding appropriately. Why can't the black community see that this young man was wrong and not blame the officers just because they are white? If the gentleman in question had been white and the officers black I certainly would not question their response, or walk in protest against them. The student at NCCU is not helping his community, and I think we have a lot to learn.

  • buck121794 Apr 25, 2007

    Why do people, like this guy, drive a wedge between the races? If a white "columnist" wrote a similar piece about blacks he would have to be suspended, fired and meet with the rutgers' BB team to soothe things over!

  • ridgerunner Apr 25, 2007

    Freedom of speach only goes so far, it is still illegal to yell "fire" in a crowded building when there is no fire. It seems Burnette has a lot of experience with the American Legal System and if he does not like it he should try what some other countries have to offer, where you are still guilty after proven innocent.

  • ROCC Apr 25, 2007

    I performed a google search on "Solomon Burnette" and one of the sites where contact information is listed is http://www.ibadarrahman.org/.

  • nathanius Apr 25, 2007

    The biggest threat to black people is other black people. It is not "whitey". I am so sick of this stuff. It enrages me that folks with such low moral character are making my fine institution (NCCU)look bad. Crystal Magnum & Mr. Burnette really are part of the problem, not the solution. It's just amazing that we are still blaming white folks. Don Imus is the least of our problems. Let's work on the baby-daddy syndrome, AIDS, gang violence, and many more things. I know some people wont believe it, but I am a black male and I think Mr. Burnette is an idiot!

  • FragmentFour Apr 25, 2007

    Horseonthefly - you are correct - that was a typo on my part. Apologies!

  • FragmentFour Apr 25, 2007

    umm...that would be NCCU (North Carolina Central University) not NCSU (North Carolina State University)... horseonthefly

    Yep, you are absolutely correct - my typo, sorry! Although the point of the post remains.

  • HARDWRKR Apr 25, 2007

    As a white man, I respect black people who really care about themselves and want to achieve in this life. But black people such as Mr. Burnette and the lady preacher spewing venon on TV last week in Durham about the Duke LaCrosse case will never do anything for the black cause except cause more hate and more negative results. It is a shame when the truth looks them in the face they are unhappy because it did not cause a riot and violence. The blacks need a strong leader with courage to speak the truth and not hide behind race. Jackson and Sharpton are certainly not the answer.