Continuing Reform on Racism

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Continuing Reform on Racism

Courtesy of Flickr

Courtesy of Flickr

Courtesy of Flickr

Courtesy of Flickr

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By Marcelle Meyer

Courtesy of Flickr

Courtesy of Flickr

Last semester was a semester of fear, empowerment, hatred and acceptance in the Fordham community. Our school faced far too many incidents of racial discrimination and hate speech, bringing forth a wave of responses from the student body in the form of rallies, speak-outs and protests. Students came forward to tell their stories of discrimination and marginalization that have been happening on a campus that many of us have always considered a safe space.

We were all forced to confront the frightening reality of racism in the modern age, and the Fordham administration was prompted to act against racism in its community.

And then, as happens every year at the end of December, everyone went home. We traded in long nights of studying for hours of Netflix, spent time with our family and old friends; and, for those of us who do not live constantly affected by racism in our community, left the fear and hate behind.

As a white student returning to Fordham from break, it almost feels as if nothing had ever happened. Each semester is a fresh start and it seems so long ago that I was carrying a “Black Lives Matter” sign at an on-campus speak-out.

Fordham, we cannot let this happen. If there is one thing we learned last semester as people came forward with their stories, it is that racism on campus did not begin with the incidents of last semester, and it certainly will not stop with them unless we continue to speak out.

Many students continue to feel marginalized in our own community every day. We cannot wait for another incident to have a conversation about it. We have already experienced too many this past year.

The Fordham administration and the student body must continue to make combatting racial prejudice a top priority on campus, even if it is hidden prejudice that does not incite the indignation that last semester’s events did.

As long as Fordham students are being affected by racism on campus, we are obligated to create dialogue about it and work against it. We cannot falter if we are to make true progress.

If we do not, then the offenses of last semester will fade away and we will regress as a community in terms of our racial dialogue and consequent responses.
Students deserve an administration and a student body that pays attention to these issues, and it is time we had a consistent campus culture of combatting racism that does not wax and wane with each passing semester, and does not only arise because of explicit attacks on Fordham students of color.