Many people think that racism is a thing of the past, but sadly, it is not. The hashtag #JusticeforJazzy has been floating around social media because there are some people who cannot seem to deal with people of other races. Earlier this week, I read about an incident on social media in which a white female tried to poison her roommate at the University of Hartford because her roommate was black. On Monday, Chennel “Jazzy” Rowe made a video on Facebook Live explaining what her roommate, Brianna Brochu, had done to her. She did not even know that these things were happening to her until she was moving out and her old neighbor and resident assistant told her to take a look at Instagram.
Her former roommate, Brianna, made a post on her Instagram account, that said, “Finally did it yo girl got rid of her roommate!! After one-and-a-half months of spitting in her coconut oil, putting moldy clam dip in her lotions, rubbing used tampons on her backpack, putting her toothbrush places where the sun don’t shine, and so much more I can finally say goodbye Jamaican Barbie.”
Jazzy stated in her Facebook Live video that she went to Public Safety immediately, but they kept telling her to not talk about the situation because it was already over. She said they prolonged the situation for as long as they could. The President of the University of Hartford posted a statement online, and in it he said, “The University took action immediately once these allegations were brought to attention… It is clear there is work to be done at our University to ensure that all students feel safe, respected and valued…I am dedicated to that mission and will continue to share additional information about opportunities for our path forward in meaningful dialogue and action.”
Unlike other cases, this case actually ended with a form of justice for Jazzy. Brianna Brochu was charged with misdemeanor criminal mischief and breach of peace, and she was expelled from the University of Hartford. Incidents like this happen far too many times and nothing is done to the person who committed the crime.
Universities love to sweep acts like this under the rug, and that is what Jazzy thought they were trying to do in her situation. She said that if the roles were reversed, authorities would have acted quicker than they did. I agree with her because the justice system plays on white privilege. The West Hartford Police Department began investigating this incident on Oct. 18, and they are still trying to determine a punishment for Brianna. If Jazzy was the one to try to poison Brianna, she would have had a prison sentence immediately and the world would not stop talking about this incident.
Brianna’s tactics could have killed Jazzy. Jazzy grew sick at the beginning of the semester, as a result of Brianna trying to poison her. She had a sore throat and couldn’t sleep or speak, and she had to travel back and forth from Connecticut to her hometown in New York to see a throat specialist.
It is sad that a person would stoop to this level just because they didn’t want to live with someone of a certain skin color. Jazzy said that she felt like she was not welcome in her own room. Brianna never gave Jazzy a chance. Jazzy shared personal belongings with Brianna, like a refrigerator and microwave, and Brianna still could not see past Jazzy’s skin color.
Had the story not gone viral on social media, would Brianna have even been charged? I am glad she was, and that the school is trying to take steps necessary in achieving justice for Jazzy. Universities and major companies need to stop waiting until the story goes viral to do something about it. Where is everyone’s moral compass? This was an act of racism and a hate crime. Universities need to do more to make their minority students feel welcomed and listen to them and truly help them when they need it. Hopefully no one will ever have to go through this again, and we can work on racism in America.