The protests at the University of Missouri have started something. While students of color have been raising their voices on campuses across the country for  decades, the events at Mizzou this week have seemed to raise the stakes.

At Yale, students passionately confronted a faculty member after he defended a dismissive email about racist Halloween costumes; and at Ithaca College, thousands of students staged a walkout, demanding the institution’s president, Tom Rochon, resigns.

This week there have also been protests or solidarity rallies at Smith College, the University of Colorado-Denver, the University of Southern California, Drake University, Vanderbilt, Brown, UC Berkeley, Virginia Commonwealth University, Howard, Hampton, and others.

The result? Students of color are no longer willing to be silent about the casual, and blatant, racism they face on campus. Unfortunately, not everyone is willing to listen.

Republican frontrunner Ben Carson called the growing protests “a very dangerous trend,” and Donald Trump said the demonstrations were “disgusting.”

In spite of the criticism, however, students across the nation are sharing their experiences about being a Black student at predominantly white institutions with the hashtag #BlackOnCampus.

While it remains to be seen if this wave of college protests will yield even more administrative resignations, one thing is clear: universities can’t ignore the concerns of students of color anymore.

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  • Brad

    This was well stated:

    “However you feel about your HBCU experience, please disabuse yourself of the notion that these schools are free of systemic racial and societal oppression. Howard, Hampton, Spelman, Morehouse, Clark, Tuskegee–these institutions are not cures for the racial sickness that plagues our society; they are symptoms of it.

    “HBCUs exist because of American racism, not in spite of it. No ‘safe space’ exists for African-American students at Howard, because no safe spaces exist for African-Americans in America.

    “Our role is not to pity the students at Mizzou, for the visceral hate they are forced to endure on a daily basis. Our role, as it has always been, is to support them…”

    Actually a lot of support out there from HBCU students who don’t have to face some of the things black students have to face at PWI’s.

    At least not until graduate school anyway ;-)

  • This is a very historic time. We are witnessing history as black people. Also, Donald Trump and Ben Carson have criticized courageous Brothers and Sisters standing up for racial justice. Anybody who supports Donald Trump after his statements about BLM and about black people supporting their human rights in universities is a traitor (I don’t care who it is). For Trump to condemn the resignation of Missouri President shows his hand as being racially insensitive. Donald Trump is out of touch and he is anti-progressive. These young students should be applauded for showing their free speech rights and they want college campuses to be progressive, egalitarian, and strong.

    These Brothers and Sisters are doing actions similar to what our people did during the 1960s’s and during the 1970’s (when black people want pro-black studies in colleges, desired to fight against the Vietnam War, civil rights, and wanted justice. During the 1980’s, students fought against apartheid in South Africa). This is a new generation. People are not only using social media. People are also walking out, marching, and making explicit demands to combat macroaggressions, high tuition rates, and racism in general. The people in Ithaca College and in other colleges nationwide who are voicing their views are doing a great job. The activists are black and they are people of many colors too.

    We have a long way to go, but the fight is on. We won’t back down, and we’re just getting started. As other people here has mentioned, HBCUs should be praised for their long legacy in educating our people and setting up an infrastructure in developing more of black culture. Also, other black students in universities nationwide who are standing up for truth should be honored and respected as well. We are in total solidarity with the young student activists. We want neoliberal exploitation to end. We want students to be treated as human beings not as commodities. The activists are forming real demands and there heroic young people are inspirational.