Let them be great: A criticism on those criticizing solidarity

Or, as our good friend Niamh put it in a Facebook message: “cc: all the jerkfaces on that beautiful CSU Mizzou solidarity post from the Colorado State University account.”

Yesterday, CSU Solidarity with Mizzou Protests (a group formed from Colorado State University) held a rally to show support for the Black students facing death threats at Mizzou. I repeat, awesome and aware students at Ashleigh’s and my alma mater took the time to organize a protest and stand with students at Mizzou. My happiness level skyrocketed to the thousands when I saw this.

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Colorado State posted a picture on their Facebook page of over 100 students rallying together, holding a sign that read “CSU Stands with Mizzou. Black Students Matter.” The sight of these Rams protesting against the injustice and terrorism of Black Mizzou students IN FRONT OF THE ADMINISTRATION BUILDING warmed my heart. The fact that CSU posted this on their official Facebook page warmed my heart even more.

But apparently, I can’t just sit and bask in proud alumna joy and have nice things, so I was also privy to the amount of ignorant comments left on the photo’s page. Some pulled quotes include:

“All students matter. This is only helping segregation and racism continue. I love my school but this makes me sad.”

“Get to class all of you, as you have much to learn before you enter the real world! All lives, and the well being of ALL students at CSU matter!”

“Scratch CSU from list of schools for my son to attend.”

“ALL student lives matter. My alumni donations are now on hold. Be better, CSU.”

“This is why I don’t donate to the university.”

Etc. Etc. These are only a few of the ones I immediately saw, and I’m sure there are a whole slew of others, but I refuse to dig through the shit anymore today. After reading the 20th negative rant, my spirit broke and I just stopped reading the comment section.

It’s sad that at this point in my life, I am no longer surprised when people turn a good thing around and come in with their racist two cents. Like I told Ashleigh, we barely had time to rejoice about Mizzou’s president resigning before all the threats started coming in. Of course we’d barely have time to get excited about student activism and solidarity. We live in a world where people have to protest the protesting of injustice because for two seconds, we are not focusing on their Whiteness.

However. We also live in a world where a group of dedicated students are taking a stand against the racism going on at Mizzou. We live in a world where these students are supported by faculty and staff, including the university president. We live in a world where official Facebook pages of universities refuse to take down pictures of this show of support, no matter how loud others threaten with their words and donation funds.

So to the alumni who’s sad that students are showing support to students at Mizzou: this rally isn’t furthering racism. Your comment is doing that on its own. I’m not quite sure how this show of solidarity and fight against racism is going to further racism, but. Okay. You tried it, I guess.

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To the misguided alumni who is urging these students to “get to class:” please understand that in the “real world,” students of color either have the choice to keep quiet and experience racism, or stand up for themselves and receive death threats and even more racism. All humans lives are important, but when it’s shown time and time again that White lives matter the most, you’re going to have to forgive us for demanding that our lives, Black lives, matter as well.

To angry alumni who threaten to stop “giving back” to CSU: Just stop. Oh my God, please stop. Please keep your money. I am so tired of alumni saying they are going to pull funds away when a school decides to give a voice to marginalized students. I am sick of alumni using money when they’re upset that students are protesting for some semblance of equity. And I’m upset that I’ve seen places where institutions actually make decisions because a group of alumni who went to school are mad that students are fighting for change. Time and time again, I’ve seen alumni donations trump student protests against racist institutionalized practices. So I urge Colorado State to keep supporting  CSU Solidarity with Mizzou Protests. And to the alumni who talk and threaten and show ignorance with their money, please just keep your dollars and your children and your donations. Or better yet, understand why Black student lives matter, continue to donate, and come join us.

CSU Stands with Mizzou. It’s time for you to get on board.

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You better preach, commenter. You. Better. Preach.

 

 

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