KU Student Body President shares “Death to America” post, doubles down and repeatedly defends it

LAWRENCE, KS – University of Kansas Student Body President Niya D. McAdoo has come under fire recently for sharing a tweet that said, “Happy Friday everyone. Death to America,” from multiple official Twitter accounts.

McAdoo retweeted the post on Friday from both her official Student Body President account (@KUPresident) as well as the official student government account (@KUSenate). The tweet is echoing the anti-American slogan “Death to America” that is often chanted by recognized terrorist organizations in the Middle East. 

The post came just days before the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and just after 13 U.S. service members were killed in Kabul, Afghanistan – both catastrophes credited to terrorist organizations known for sharing the same sentiment. 

McAdoo has not yet walked back the statement and instead, she actually doubled down and has defended it numerous times. 

“The more you read American history, the more the whole ‘Death to America’ line sounds less like a terrifying, chaotic sentiment, and more like a perfectly rational, if anything remarkably reserved, statement,” read a post that she shared after receiving fierce backlash.

“Please know it is is death to an America that was built on Indigenous genocide and the backs of Black slaves,” she tweeted in response to Todd Starnes who almost immediately criticized the post in an article.

Starnes’ article brought attention to the post and since, McAdoo has had her hands full with defending her actions. Seemingly bothered by the outrage targeted at her, the Student Body President has spent every day since the original post repeatedly arguing with several Twitter users who found the posts offensive. 

This is not the first time McAdoo, who identifies as she/they, has tweeted or shared controversial opinions from her position of power at the University of Kansas. 

“I have no obligation to love this country,” read a tweet she shared on Monday.

Although she was elected to the highest possible position a student can hold at the university, McAdoo, a black woman, has still regularly claimed that America and its universities operate on a foundation of oppression and white supremacy. 

She has also shared various posts from “progressive” elected officials such as Reps. Cori Bush and Ayanna Presley, among others. McAdoo often shares opinions aligned with the Black Lives Matter organization and expresses views of anti-whiteness, dismissing many individuals’ concerns simply because the color of their skin is white.

“Imagine being this obsessed with young people lol old white people are something else,” she said in an argument on Twitter. 

Adding onto her list of controversial tweets and shared posts are many anti-police sentiments as well.

“Police officers in schools is not only dangerous but anti-Black,” she once tweeted in response to the Lawrence Police Department. “I never saw a resource officer handle white students the way they targeted and handled Black and Brown ones. Protecting students, esp. Black/Brown youth, in our education systems does not start with policing.”

In response to a request for comment on the matter, KU spokesperson Erinn Barcomb-Peterson chose not to answer The Heartlander’s questions and issued the below prepared statement:

“We are aware of social media activity by our Student Body President that has caught the attention of some members of the KU community.

The opinions in the student’s post are protected by the First Amendment. In addition, KU is committed to its role as a marketplace of ideas – including ideas that some individuals find offensive.

At the same time, the university understands and appreciates why many individuals find the content of the student’s post offensive. We want those individuals to know that, while we support the student’s right to free speech, we strongly disagree with the sentiment of her retweet, and she does not speak for the university on this or any other matter.”

McAdoo shared the contentious post only two days after issuing her first statement as Student Body President announcing her plans for the fall semester.

As the criticism and outrage towards McAdoo and KU has yet to slow down, individuals can expect more attention on the matter as the school year continues on.

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