#BlackOnCampus – American University

I have been privileged enough to go to a school much more tolerant than Missouri, Yale, or Howard. However, tolerance doesn’t always equate with acceptance. There may not be as big of an issue here at American University, but there are underlying problems. Recently, I was in the library doing homework and I overheard some white girls talking about race. At first, I was happy that race was becoming discussed freely as a common topic of conversation. However, the conversation took a turn for the worse. One girl said that she didn’t understand why black people still talk about race, because slavery and the civil rights movement are over. Another girl asked, “What more do black people want?” This is sad because those girls think that the daily murder and mistreatment of black people should be ok because it isn’t slavery.

Since the events on the campuses of Missouri, Yale, and Howard, our BSA (Black Student Alliance) has had different discussions, activities, and videos to bring awareness and show solidarity. They photographed African American students holding whiteboards that said: “We must love and support each other… We have nothing to lose but our chains. #SolidaritywithMizzou.” I found this quote interesting and relevant because I’m reading Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto for a class. The last part of that quote is from the communist manifesto. Karl Marx was a supporter of equality, giving power to the working class, and taking power away from the oppressive class. To me this seems fitting because, as African Americans, we have been a part of the oppressed class for hundreds of years. The events in Yale, Missouri, and Howard have shown that even though we have made a lot of progress, we are still a part of the oppressed class.

On Thursday, November 12th, a white student posted on Howard’s Yik Yak that if he saw any black people out after 10 PM that weekend, he would shoot them. To me this is a terrorist threat. Most people, however, don’t see things like this as a form of terrorism, which is a huge problem. If a similar thing were to happen in another country, it would be considered terrorism, but when white people bomb churches and target one specific group of people consistently, how is that not terrorism? The Yik Yak comment was meant to strike fear into the black students at Howard so that they wouldn’t go out. That weekend I had tickets for a party near Howard’s campus. I knew about the threats, and they did scare me a bit, but I knew that was what the person wanted. They wanted to scare me so that I would become weak. The overall theme that I have seen from the events on these campuses is that the black students are becoming more and more intelligent and confident, a trend that is causing competition for the white students. This worries white people who have always seen us as inferior. They try to intimidate us so that we will become weak, but if we stand together and continue to thrive, there is nothing that can stop us!

– Written by Sabrina Matlock (redefy contributor)