Letter: OBS urges student solidarity around petition

By Letter to the Editor

In light of recent acts of racially motivated hate, the Organization of Black Students (OBS) would like to express our firm stance and complete solidarity with all victims of intolerance, marginalization, and targeted personal attacks. While some may be inclined to perceive this most recent event as an isolated incident, this is instead the latest iteration of a historical trend of antagonism, symptomatic of a broader culture of intolerance. Thus, we find it imperative that the entire campus community gather against these polarizing threats to our safety and unity.

Our organization would also like to reaffirm our strong commitment to working toward a more equitable campus, as well as toward serving as vocal advocates for communities of color. It is during pivotal moments such as these that the greater campus community must also take a stand to promote virtues of inclusivity and equity. Bigotry and discrimination are not issues that simply affect students of color alone, but instead are the manifestations of a far greater societal problem that speaks volumes about the current campus environment.

As Martin Luther King Jr. wrote, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Now, more than ever, this campus community requires the unity of the student body at large to take a stance on issues of intolerance. We fully support not only the demands outlined in the Anti-Discrimination Petition, but also the larger impact it may carry on this campus. What we, as well as the hundreds of others who have signed the petition addressed to the leaders of this University, are asking for does not surpass the basic consideration that every student deserves. We challenge the greater campus community to work with us toward solving issues relating to all forms of intolerance.

The burden of dismantling racism should never be placed in the hands of one group alone–it is Our history, Our campus, Our problem. We call all students, faculty, and administrators to stand, recognize, and condemn these issues. We reiterate that silence on these issues is consent.  We must speak out against injustice in all its manifestations and recognize the responsibility we, as students, have in creating a more inclusive, safe, and diverse campus. We must hold the administration accountable, hold ourselves accountable, and be the agents of change we strive to see on this campus.

—The Organization of Black Students