September 15, 2014

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: “Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied”

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To the Editor:

Re: “Dozens of Cornellians Rally in Response to Ferguson Shooting,” News, Sept.  11

On September 10, Black Students United held a peaceful demonstration on Ho Plaza in support of protesters in Ferguson, Missouri after the brutal August 9 killing of Mike Brown. Intended to inspire solidarity amongst students and discuss the issue of police brutality and the criminalization of Black men and women of color in the United States, The Daily Sun’s account of the evening’s events was poorly conceived. The Daily Sun’s September 11 article’s reporting contained several errors and poorly depicted the purpose of the rally as one that held no central theme but covered “a wide range of social, political, and cultural issues.” For me and several of the rally organizers, the purpose was not only to promote solidarity in the midst of inequality, but address the need for radical change in America. The die-in, the posters, the topic of post-racialism and the march all called on individuals to confront the realities of police brutality and the attack on Black bodies at the institutional level. With such a complex topic, we, as a campus community, cannot begin to find a solution without confronting the issues that contribute to it. We cannot discuss ending police brutality in America and ignore the Israeli – Palestinian conflict overseas, we cannot discuss institutionalized racism without acknowledging white supremacy and how we all contribute to it. Whether the rally was held the day after Brown’s death or the month after is irrelevant. We must work to end the oppressive systems that have, for centuries, dictated the value of Blacks in America. I, personally, am working to bring awareness to this issue and applaud all efforts that keep this conversation going. #HandsUp.

Michelle Juma ’16,

Black Students United, Treasurer