University President Forced To Apologize After COTTON Triggers Black Students


Randy Lowry, the president of Lipscomb University is apologizing for a centerpiece in his personal residence….you know….his home… in where he lives….that some have deemed offensive. Lipscomb University is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Churches of Christ and located in Nashville, Tennessee.

Lowery invited black students to his home for a dinner last week.  The event was supposed to be an effort to allow minority students to share their experiences at a predominately white university and gain insight into how they can improve.  Instead, it seems a student chose to be offended by table centerpieces as well as the food that was served.


Writing on Instagram, a student identified as “Nakaylayvonne” proceeded to complain via social media –

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“So I attend Lipscomb university and as most of you know that is a predominately white school. Tonight AFRICAN AMERICAN students were invited to have dinner with the president of the school. As we arrived to the president’s home and proceeded to go in we seen cotton as the center pieces.”

“We also stood and ate dinner, there were no seats to sit in and it felt very uncomfortable. We were very offended, and also the meals that were provided resembled many “black meals” they had mac n cheese, collard greens, corn bread etc. The night before Latinos also had dinner at his house and they had tacos. They also DIDN’T have the center piece that we HAD tonight. A couple of minutes went by, the president was coming around and asking for our names and what our major was. He finally got to our table and my friend @kay_cyann asked why there was cotton on the table as the center piece. His response was that he didn’t know, he seen it before we did, he kind of thought it was ” fallish”, THEN he said ” it ISNT INHERENTLY BAD IF WERE ALL WEARING IT ” then walked off.”


“Later on all of us that were there were invited into the home, and we had the impression that we were coming to speak about how us as Black people feel about Lipscomb. The whole entire time we were in their home they only talked about themselves( how they met, got married and ended up at lipscomb) & the ONLY question that we were asked was our transformation coming to lipscomb. A couple of women answered the question but they sugar coated it. They said any other questions that we may have can be emailed to the advocate for the Latinos and that a second meeting may be held. Also we don’t have an advocate on campus, the only African American advocate we had, no longer works here. The only advocate available to us is the advocate for the Latinos. They claim to have funding for minorities, BUT you have to live up to the expectations of a typical Black family to even get the 1000$.There is NO FUNDING for just us black students. #share”


I was unaware that cotton….ALL COTTON that is….is now indicative of slavery.  It is a common fall decoration in the South and the Midwest for that matter. Not to mention that a great many white men, women, and children were not too proud to pick cotton throughout our history given that the choice was to pick cotton or starve. I was also unaware that the staples of a great many Southern and Midwestern diets now consisted of mere “black food” as a great many people of all stripes, colors, and creeds eat mac and cheese, collard greens, and cornbread.

This is a private school with tuition that costs $28,624 per year to attend.  That level of education is not afforded to many people no matter what color they are, yet this girl thinks it’s appropriate to trivialize an opportunity while ridiculing decor in a private home she has been invited and turning her nose up at the food? I don’t know where she is from but where I am from we consider that to be rude, ungracious, and ill-mannered.  The fact that Lowry added credence to this level of nonsense by apologizing simply makes it worse.

Lowry responded on school’s Facebook page stating –

“Last night we invited Lipscomb African American students to our home for dinner to discuss their experiences at Lipscomb. Several students shared with me their concern about the material used for centerpieces which contained stalks of cotton. The content of the centerpieces was offensive, and I could have handled the situation with more sensitivity. I sincerely apologize for the discomfort, anger or disappointment we caused and solicit your forgiveness.”

Lowry then followed the Facebook post with an email to the Lipscomb alumni, student body, and community at large –

Many in the Nashville community are up in arms over the ridiculous controversy created out of little more than an ungrateful girl looking to be offended about something and made worse by someone in leadership feeling he had to apologize for not coddling this girl. One wonders if they had used corn stalks, also traditional fall decor, would that have offended Native Americans? Should we switch to plain white walls, floors, ceiling? Or is that offensive too? Perhaps a healthy dose of “get over yourself is in order!”

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