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ASILI Statement Regarding Charlottesville


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On August 12th 2017 white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia put together a “Unite the White” rally. Fascism, Racism, Nazism, and all around hate, marched through the very same streets as civil rights leaders once did in our not-so-distant past. As we begin our new school year, we, the Black Student Alliance (ASILI) here at Rose Hill, want the university to know that we stand behind the statements of President McShane. We condemn the hate, ignorance and bigotry that was put on display in Virginia, and now more than ever we condemn those very same thoughts and views that are held here within our own Fordham community.

Transparency of such atrocities has proven to be important in progressing movements towards equality. The NAACP  would hang banners out of its Fifth Avenue headquarters in New York City when a lynching took place. And civil rights leaders like Ida B Wells used media to bring domestic and international attention upon those who committed violent acts against communities of color. Even today, our nation has shown that swift rejection of bigotry and hate through social media can be an effective tool to denounce these acts and to keep these conversations relevant. Merely two years ago here on campus an African American student had a racial slur scratched into their door. This was not an isolated incident as several other hateful displays were made on and off campus all targeting marginalized communities. Following one of these incidents, President McShane addressed the university in an email in December of 2015. In it he said “ I have no small misgivings about alerting you to this latest incident: I would much prefer that you continue to prepare for final exams without distraction, and that you could take a well deserved Christmas break without having to consider such behavior. Furthermore I fear that these messages may be handing a megaphone to those few amongst us afflicted with bigotry. With that in mind we may consider how or whether such acts should be made public.” Transparency helps to keep conversations around combating these injustices relevant. We encourage the university to be transparent with the entire Fordham community when acts of hate and prejudice are committed within our gates. Allow this community to hold itself accountable.

Many of us sat at home watching in horror as videos and images of this rally saturated our television screens. We have been reminded that many of the hateful views held against marginalized communities in our country are still going strong. To our ally communities, many of you are beginning to have your eyes opened to the reality that hate, racism, and prejudice is still very much alive. It is important to acknowledge that communities of color have not had the privilege to be blinded by this reality. Now is the time to act and challenge those around you who express prejudice and hateful views. Challenge the environments in which you learn, and be conscious of those viewpoints and communities that are missing from your conversations. Begin having conversations with people from different races, classes, and political parties. These conversations are the first steps towards breaking down prejudices and will allow you to tap into the unifying aspects of our humanity. If the current state of our country bothers you, then do something about it. Take your energy and emotions to the streets. You have the power to effect change. Remaining silent as communities face injustice can be as dangerous as performing those acts yourself.

Finally, to the members of the affected communities, know that we stand in solidarity with you during this time. Embrace your feelings and emotions for they are valid. You are not required to do anything but perform acts of self-care during these troubling times. Now more than ever we must band together and pick up the torch left behind by the trailblazers who laid the framework for our equality. There is tireless work ahead of us that we must not shy away from. Know that through it all your Black Student Alliance will be here. We offer ourselves to you as a source of comfort, support, and healing. Feel free to reach out to us through email, attend our meetings on Wednesdays at 2:00 pm, and come to our events. Facilitating and participating in an open dialogue with the entire university community surrounding these issues is something that ASILI is committed to.

 

Peace and Love,

Your ASILI Eboard

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ASILI Statement Regarding Charlottesville