"We are obliged to act in times of injustice; understanding that these incidents are not isolated, but an outburst of systemic racism in public and private academic institutions, it is our duty to confront the administrations of these institutions."In the past few weeks, black (primarily female and queer) students at the University of Missouri (Mizzou) have, to be blunt, successfully shut sh*t down. While a culture of racial intolerance historically has, and continues to, poison campuses nation-wide (including here at the University of Chicago), black students at Mizzou decided they're sort of tired of dealing with an unresponsive administration that perpetuates this culture of hate through its silence. And so, they
– National Black Student Caucus
But after a hunger strike and forcing the president of the University to resign, black student activists on campus were met with anonymous death threats and chased and harassed by white supremacists.
|Activists from the Concerned Student 1950 group at the University of Missouri// photo via The Black Tribune|
We are not in a post-racial nation/world.
The KKK has not disappeared. It has been institutionalized: blue uniforms are the new white. This year alone more black people have been killed by police than at the height of lynching in the 1920s. Black students have been threatened to be shot on sight. On campuses around the country. Yes, all lives matter, but it's just that the system (and those complicit within it) seems to forget that fact when it comes down to the lives of black people. (Or else it wouldn't have created a culture where a black person is killed every 28 hours in the United States by police, security guards, or vigilantes, and is still vicitm-blamed.) (Or not deeming threats from white students seriously--why did it take so long for law enforcement to respond to the death threats at Mizzou and other universities? Would that have changed if a Muslim was making threats against white people?)
This is systematic. This is calculated. Here are the details.
As online influencers, we have a responsibility to speak out on injustice, no matter the niche that you occupy or way you identify. Institutions of racism permeate every part of the system you occupy. This is relevant to fashion. Relevant to food. Relevant to blogging.
As Muslims, we are obligated by our faith to stand up for justice unconditionally. To quote--we are required to be “persistently standing firm in justice...even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives” (Qur'an 4:135).
As feminists, we fight for our sisters who are forced to endure the heaviest weights of the patriarchy: black women and trans black women.
As people of color, we must understand that our liberation is fully and intimately dependent on the liberation of black people. Our chains may differ, but our oppressors are the same.
As individuals living in the United States, if we are not fighting injustice, we are complicit in it.
The civil rights movement is not over. We are in it.