The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Black History Month Should Matter to You

Now is the time to support all black students on campus

After word broke out about an SJU student deliberately harassing and stalking two other students of color, there was certainly a need for a conversation. Often I hear people saying, “Why is Black History Month important? Does it accomplish anything?” But Black History Month is more than just remembering black achievements.

This time, if any, is the most opportune to have discussions to clear misconceptions about what it is to live with dark skin, with a known history of being displaced, where people cannot trace their ancestry because there is no record or DNA test they can take.

On Feb. 1, black students and their allies banded together against racism and demanded immediate action for this blatant act of hate.

The first day of Black History Month saw a movement for solidarity and change. Several SJU students made history when they stood on the stage of the Little Theatre to voice their traumas.

This is not a time to shame those students who put on that display. It’s 2018. Hate has no place here at St. John’s.

Black History Month is important even if you are not black. As a Latino I understand the odious scent of racism in my community.

I stand proud with my black brothers and sisters calling for more dialogue and immediate action. What is the purpose of SJU’s  high diversity scores on multiple websites if  they don’t treat us equally?

Put yourself in the shoes of those students being ridiculed.

Whether you are a person of color or not racism is a disease that must be extinguished, not swept under the rug.

Now more than ever, Black History Month is important to SJU. Hate is defeated with love, and ignorance with knowledge. These are the principles set forth by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a man who we honored on Jan. 29. The Civil Rights Movement gave us what should have been equality decades ago.

Today we fight a new fight for equity, so that black students can go a day without fear. I implore you SJU students to see that this is not a month to alienate you if you are not black.

This road is not easy, but come to the numerous events around campus this month. Come showing respect and love and you will be gladly welcomed at our tables. Learn and ask questions. St. John’s holds the values of “truth, love, respect, opportunity, excellence, and service.”

Black History Month seems like no better time to bring back these values and end hate on this campus.

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