Column: This is not a moment, it's a movement

MU's black community will not be bullied and silenced.

These past couple weeks have been tumultuous. After winning the ultimate victory of UM System President Tim Wolfe's resignation and the surprise of former Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin’s resignation shortly afterward, I thought we were on a high and felt as if nothing could touch the black community here at MU. But the night brought a new terror that I had never felt before. Indeed it felt like a race war: There were reports of black people chased in parking lots, people shot in the parking lot with a pellet gun, two active shooting threats geared toward black students, sightings of the KKK in Greektown and bricks being thrown at dorms. The black students quickly came together, evacuating black students that live on campus and creating safe houses, some 15 deep with on-campus-living students. I have never been more scared in my life.

In the morning after that torturous night, I woke up having to walk holding hands into my dorm. Many black students turned to the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center for shelter during the day and escorted each other to get food, to attend classes, to take exams and to return to their dorms. The interviews were endless and phones continued to go off as concerned family members found out the danger their family was in on this campus. For days, I had to convince people that I was fine and would not transfer. A race war, that what it felt like we were in.

Ever since that night, I walk around campus constantly looking over my shoulder, or staring into the white faces of my classmates and wondering if maybe it was them who wanted to hurt me. Being on MU's campus has really opened my eyes to the value I have to other people, as if my life and body is nothing more than a vessel to direct their hate.

But I will not be intimidated by your prejudice presence on my campus. College is a place to be educated, and I will educate you with my determination to stay here and make a difference. Concerned Student 1950 wasn't a moment, it is a movement, and it will not be dispersed that easily. You will continue to be uncomfortable, and hopefully after these four years of you and me together on this campus, you'll be educated and comfortable and I will have done my job as a black student on this campus. Open your eyes because I am just as important as you, I work just as hard and just as long and yet you want me gone. Is it because I intimidate you? Listen, my blackness is important and it is beautiful and you will not bully me into thinking otherwise. You want to pull the black community apart and break our determination, but your ignorance has only made this black community stronger.

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