Back in 2014, ztevenz, a blogger before my time, started a series of posts entitled “The College Bubble: A Higher Ed Roundup” which gave digests of recent news events that happening at college campuses nationwide. Several events in the past two years, most notably the anti-racist demonstrations begun by Concerned Student 1950 at Mizzou and the nationwide sanctuary campus movement orchestrated by Movimiento Cosecha, have generated talks of rebooting the feature. And now it’s finally happening! So here’s a roundup of things that have been going on recently at various colleges and universities:
From the Friends of the Wesleyan Library:
Co-editors Jordan Camp and Christina Heatherton will trace the global spread of the broken-windows policing strategy that was first established in New York City under Police Commissioner William Bratton and how it led to Black Lives Matter. There will be an open house of Special Collections & Archives materials related to the history of incarceration and policing both before and after the talk, from 4:00-4:30 pm and 6:00-7:00 pm in the Davison Rare Book Room, 1st floor Olin Library.
Jordan Camp is a postdoctoral fellow in Race and Ethnicity and International and Public Affairs at Brown, co-editor of Policing the Planet: Why the Policing Crisis Led to Black Lives Matter (Verso, 2016), and author of Incarcerating the Crisis: Freedom Struggles and the Rise of the Neoliberal State (University of California Press, 2016). Christina Heatherton is Assistant Professor of American Studies at Trinity College, co-editor of Policing the Planet: Why the Policing Crisis Led to Black Lives Matter (Verso, 2016), and author of the forthcoming book The Color Line and the Class Struggle: The Mexican Revolution, Internationalism, and the American Century (University of California Press, 2016).
Sponsored by the Friends of the Wesleyan Library. For more information, email libfriends[at]wesleyan[dot]edu.
Date: Wednesday, November 9
Time: 4:30 PM
Place: Smith Reading Room, 1st floor Olin Library
For some reason, this post was not included in last year’s Unofficial Orientation Series, even though we had some major student activism occurring during the 2014-2015 school year. Before I link to some of that history and go more in-depth as to some actions occurring this past year, I want to start by quoting alt‘s incredibly well-written intro to the 2014 Rage Update:
The following is an open letter to the Wesleyan community from a group of students of color. It appeared earlier today on The Ankh‘s Facebook page and has been published here with these students’ permission. The views reflected here are the writers’ own.
To the Wesleyan Campus Community:
To be black in an anti-black society is to be a commodity fit for liquidation, it is to be already evidenced as not befitting of life, it is to live under surveillance and always positioned as a potential threat, it is living under the conditions of imprisonment (of our senses of self, expressions, bodies, gender articulations, and sexualities).
So when we say that Black Lives Matter, we are not implying that other lives do not matter. We are reaffirming our existence in a country that continues to do everything it can to demolish and obliterate black and brown lives. By speaking out against institutional, structural, and systemic racism, by affirming Black Lives Matter, we are liberating ourselves from these systems of oppression.
We do not have the time, nor luxury, to be caught up in this smokescreen of free speech. Let us be clear: this is not an issue of your free speech. This is an issue of our voices being silenced, our communities under attack. Free speech is not a one-dimensional highway—white, cisgender, heterosexual men are not the only ones with the right to free speech.
When students of color speak our lives into existence, our speech comes under attack. When we defend our lives, we are harassing you. When we demand safety, we are attacking you. Our unapologetic voices are deranged screams; our open hands are clenched fists; our cellphones, weapons, our pigment, targets.
It’s likely you’ve already read Bryan Stascavage ‘18‘s infuriating “Why Black Lives Matter Isn’t What You Think,” published Monday in the Argus’ opinion section. I’m not as Wes this semester, but it was apparent even from Facebook that I was not alone in my anger: in the past few days, many students have voiced their outrage at the article and its publication. As another widely-read campus publication, Wesleying has a responsibility to address these issues. Though my fellow editors are aware I am posting this, the following views are mine as an individual.
At 3 PM, a huge number of students, faculty, staff, administrators, and Middletown community members (estimates range from a few to several hundred) gathered in the Exley Lobby ready to march in solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Although most folks dissipated at about 4 PM after the stream of protestors made it’s way back to main campus, as of 4:45 PM there are still students marching on the North End of Main Street and police are present. Prior to the march, protestors were reminded that a Black life is taken every 28 hours by law enforcement or state-backed vigilantes; this march was an attempt to disrupt the Middletown economy in analogous fashion to the constant disruption of Black lives. In addition, it was emphasized that this was a peaceful protest.
There will be a Black Lives Matter March today, December 8th at 3 PM
starting at Exley Science Center.
In the last publication of The Ankh (physical copies of which may be found in various locations on campus) a group of Students of Color penned this manifesto. One co-writer asked me to reproduce it here. I would also like to add that tomorrow, Sunday December 7th at 5 PM (edit: the meeting has been changed from 4 to 5 PM) in the basement of Malcolm X House there will be a meeting to discuss further action regarding #BlackLivesMatter. If you have questions, you should reach out to Dreisen Heath ’15 (dheath[at]wes) and Christian Hosam ’15 (chosam[at]wes).
Community of Color Manifesto
- We assert that the Community of Color at Wesleyan has not been all that we would have liked it to be.
- Further, we recognize that community building across racial lines (to say nothing of gender, class, geographic lines, etc.) has not taken place in any substantive way in the recent past here on campus.
- We name that there have been a number of impediments that have kept us from being a cohesive and synergistic community, which are reflective of both interpersonal conflicts that we have faced, as well as structural administrative barriers that have historically lead to cleavages between Students of Color.
Beginning at 11AM today, students have gathered in Usdan to push back against the verdict of no indictment for Officer Darren Wilson given last night in Ferguson. Wilson shot and killed an unarmed Michael Brown months ago, leading to protests in Ferguson and across the country. Signs are being held and banners have been dropped in Usdan right before the campus leaves for Thanksgiving break tomorrow.
There have also been messages written around campus, including on Foss Hill and in front of Olin. More images of the movement in Usdan after the break.