Column: Change the collegiate community standards with Concerned Student 1950

This movement will make a difference.

To whom it may concern:

This past week has been emotional for us all; Jonathan Butler's hunger strike and the Concerned Student 1950 movement have stirred up a lot of dialogue at MU. His strike has propelled Concerned Student 1950 into a frenzy of action. MU’s black community has become a family like no other, and this is something you should be paying attention to. This is an article I'm having trouble writing; I know there is nothing I should be writing about right now other than this, but I don’t know how to approach it.

I could tell you that this is the realest week I've gone through in my entire life. Butler will finish graduate school this year, yet he is willing to risk his own life for the safety and comfort of me and other black students who will be here years after. The tension and emotion that builds up in the big room of the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center during Town Hall meetings is unlike any other because everyone is thinking the same thing: Butler shouldn't have to do this.

We are here at this university, all of us at the same time, to make a difference in our own ways. Every student here, black, white, etc., is here to show people how a difference is made. Watch us as we come together as a student body to stare systemic oppression in the face.

As of Nov. 7, the football team is in agreement that no player will participate in football-related activities. This is only the beginning of our united student front. Wolfe will step down, and that will only be the beginning of the change that is coming to MU.

Our campus is being covered nationally, and here in this moment is our chance to change the dynamic of all predominantly white institutions. This is not the moment when we tell all black students to attend a historically black college or university instead; that would be shying away from the problem. That would be looking racism and systemic oppression in the face and running in the opposite direction. That would be to regress 50 years into the past. This is the moment when all black students at all predominantly white and historically black institutions stand together in unison to change the ideas of a community that has been oppressing us for years.

I've realized that I'm here for a reason, and so are you.

Sincerely, Kennedy Jones Mizzou '19


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