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Stand Up and Do Something

Over the weekend, we had racial incidents occur right here on campus in the dorms. Campus is a home to many students of all different backgrounds and communities, and even in this home where they should feel safe; they were attacked by someone who felt that it was acceptable to target their community. It’s upsetting to think that things like this could occur at our home at Framingham State. You’d think that it wouldn’t happen here, not at our school, or now, in this day and year, who would be racist anymore? But, the thing is, it has never stopped. Things like this still occur every day in our world today. Some of us are “blind” to these things still happening, while others don’t want to believe that it is happening, but whether we chose not to see it or not to believe it, it is still here.

Now, I have chosen to write about this, because of the inspiration from one of my professors, Professor Sánchez-Connally. She arrived at our class Monday at 2:30 pm right after the campus meeting that addressed the incident that occurred over the weekend. When she came in she expressed her frustration to the class. She felt concerned, angered and frightened by the acts that targeted her community. “We don’t want sympathy,” she said, “we want empathy.”

Now normally, I wouldn’t be a person to write something on this subject, merely for the concern of angering others with what I have to say. I normally stick with the ‘it’s better to keep your opinions yourself’ method. But, I’m tired of it. I’m tired of sitting silently and letting my anger boil inside of me for the fear of angering someone else. Professor Sánchez-Connally has motivated me to voice my opinion, and I’d like to do the same for anyone else who feels the same way I do.

Truth is, our world needs change and we are never going to move towards that if we don’t do anything about it. If you believe in something, stand up for it. We can’t keep sitting back hoping that things will change on their own. Racism is still a real thing that is still occurring in our world today. And if you are just as angered about it, stand up and do something about it. We can sit here for our friends facing discrimination like this and “understand”, but the truth is we will never really understand the real struggle they are going through. We can make more of a difference and give better support if we do more than just understand.

Use your voice. If you hear people making racial comments, whether they are friends or strangers, speak up. Put an end to it. Don’t just allow it to happen. Voice your opinions and concerns. Get involved. Find organizations in the community to get involved in, start/join a club on campus or go to the events our campus offers.

The events that occurred over the weekend were unacceptable and disrespectful. The students that had to face this discrimination did not deserve it. Stand up for your campus community. We are all just trying to survive college together. No one deserves to feel attacked in this community.

I encourage everyone to look at the events that occurred on campus this weekend through our peers’ perspective and to have an open mind while reading this article. We need to work on making our community safe for all of its students, as well as making our society safe and accepting of all those living in it. One quote, and bit of advice, I’ve always loved is “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” by Gandhi. The world is in need of change, and the time to act is now.

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