It’s Protest Season: Smith
Students at Smith College, a private women’s school in Northampton, walked out of class en masse Wednesday at noon in support of the injustices students of color face on college campuses nationwide. About 200 people, including students, professors and the dean of the college, gathered in the middle of campus. Someone started chanting “who’s not here” to call attention to white students who don’t carry the burden of racism, and for students of color who can’t be at Smith because of institutional racism.
The message is clear from these millennials to the overwhelmingly older people whom are complaining. The problem is existent and recognized on more than just individual campuses where individual events take place. Furthermore, there is no plan for this awareness or recognition to wane or stop altogether. Racism is an everyday factor for people of color, and the more people who stand up to it the better.
From Missouri, to Yale, Ithaca, Smith and Beyond
As I write this, there are protests springing up all over colleges in New York concerning a whole host of issues from free tuition to police brutality to raising the minimum wage. I’m reminded of the riots that broke out around the country notably in Ferguson, Baltimore, and New York. The scary thing for many people is that for all of the “racial division” I’ve heard about, there seems to be a lot of multiracial (read white) support for these issues that overwhelmingly affect women, minorities, and people of color.
It seems, via these protests, that we are getting the dialogue that so many people who oppose the protests are looking for. Free speech works both ways. The fear of administrative speech codes, which some protesters have asked for, are not the threat here. The realization that there is power in solidarity, communication and purpose is what scares many. Afterall, atleast in the eyes of those protesting, the world that we have left them sucks; therefore, the advice that we give them on how things should work will also most likely suck. I don’t blame them. Rage on. #blacklivesmatter