Black Lives Matter Demonstration Held on Campus

SAMANTHA FRINZI | EDITOR IN CHIEF

On Wednesday, Nov. 11, the day following the results of the seemingly never-ending election year, a demonstration was held on Baer Mall in front of the Main Hall.  This demonstration was the campuses rendition of the Black Lives Matter Movement.

The event started at 9 a.m and lasted until 1 p.m., starting with students and faculty members standing on the Mall, listening to music resonating of spirituals, holding signs, and comforting each other.  There was a banner with “Black Lives Matter” available for people to sign as they either walked past, or stood in solidarity with the other demonstrators.  Margaret Uselman ’17, an organizer of the demonstration, said in regards to the beginning of the event that: “We were very quiet for a while. People signed the banner, cried, spoke in hushed tones, held signs and walked around the circle on Baer Mall.”  She also added that the event began in a “contemplative, somber manner.”

At 11:45, Jasmine Babineux ’19, another organizer of this demonstration, and Uselman read the names of the people of color whose lives were taken unjustly by police.  To help explain this reading more, Uselman added that “The reading was an affirmation of the importance of the lives of people of color who were unjustly killed by police. The list may have seemed long, but the names that Jas (Jasmine) read were only a small fraction of those whose lives have been brutally snatched away by systemic and personal racism.”

Simply put, the Black Lives Matter (BLM) Movement is a movement that campaigns against violence and systematic racism towards black people. When asking Babinuex, about the importance of putting on demonstrations, such as this, on a college campus, she stated: “It’s simple. Change. Throughout the Civil Rights movement when some injustice happened and people didn’t agree with it, there were boycotts, protests, and even greater demonstrations. Things like what we did today bring out conversations that need to happen. They may be uncomfortable and seem like race and police brutality are topics that we need to discuss, but if we don’t talk about them there will be no progress.”

The demonstration held many emotions, especially due to the results of the President-elect.  Many faculty and students were emotional, not just with somber ones, but also laughter and joy.  Uselman makes it clear that “We will not give up the joy that we find in one another’s presence. There was anger and frustration and passion. We will not be wholly consumed by our grief, but we will rise and continue to fight for justice.”

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