#BlackOnCampus (2015) is a Twitter hashtag that went viral this week in the wake of protests against racism at US universities – Yale, Mizzou and, now, at Ithaca College. In all three cases, those in authority refused to face up to the racism at their universities.
Racism at universities is nothing new: PWIs (Predominately White Institutions) have always been racist. First by not admitting Blacks at all, then by making them and other students of colour feel unwelcomed and unsafe, turning a blind eye to the racism they face, writing it off as “isolated incidents”, being “oversensitive” and so on.
“It is important to understand, this isn’t the rhetoric of a fringe but of an entire people. It is past time we see, past time we hear and past time we recognize what three hundred years plus of racism has done to a people and a nation.”
Let me tell you something. Like those doing sit-ins in the civil rights era, and what we were doing at CAL Berkeley and the other protests I’ve participated in – There was a protocol. We were trained on it, and knew what to expect. For the most part, by and large in my experience the cops were cognizant of those protocols too, and adhered to them.
If you opted to be arrested, you were clearly shown the places where you should stand or sit. The areas outside the “arrest zone” nobody was touched. You could choose to link arms and the police had to extricate you one by one from the line and take you into custody. You could choose to go limp, or walk. No officers would beat you over the head, punch or shove you, or cut off your circulation with the cuffs or restraints. The idea was to simply arrest you, get you off the protest line and into jail.
Because it was understood that the protesters were getting arrested on purpose, going to jail to make a point, and to show how far you were willing to go for your cause. The police were there to do your job, as you were there to do yours. There was mutual consent to and adherence to the protocols. I’m not saying they were gentle, or always respectful – in individual cases, with individual officers, some weren’t adverse to being a bit more rough with their methods of taking protesters into custody.
But this his casual, pointed, out of control and targeted aggression at protesters simply just shattered my soul and boggled my mind. It’s bad enough to just see it outright, but to have experiences under my belt that were far opposite to what has been going on in Ferguson, Shaw and all around St. Louis now has fucked up my brain and bruised my heart.
The Revolution Club Bay Area, the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, and “Uncle Bobby” call on YOU to be part of a national month of resistance against police terror, mass incarceration, repression, and the criminalization of generations.
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — Hundreds of people protesting the death of Michael Brown and other fatal police shootings in Missouri and elsewhere stood inches from officers in riot gear late Friday before demonstrators dissipated, anticipating a long weekend of events.