North Carolina Newspapers is powered by Chronam.
March 6, 2015 | 7
Letters from your black
friend: another shooting
There is an awful trend of police violence that
includes not only black men but black women
often being overlooked.
Guest Writer / •
March 1, 2015, a task force in Los Angeles responded to a call on skid row after
receiving a 911 call reporting a possible robbery. The incident led towards an all
too familiar police report of the victim "resisting arrest,” a struggle taking place,and
a victim losing their life. The police report states that the victim was “reaching for
the officer’s gun,” but a quote from Ida B. Wells reminds us that “those who commit
the murders (also) write the reports.” Thus, we must be critical towards what we hear
and see in these events.
“At least one officer involved in the incident was wearing a body camera,” said
Commander Andrew Smith of the Los Angeles Police Department in the LA Times.
From body cameras, to eye witness video-recordings, to surrounding security
footage, multiple sources and angles of the incident have been recorded.
From the trend of past police violence, close-up video evidence of police choking
and killings of black bodies brought inconclusive proof that would lead to a non
indictment. However, blurry far-out video footage of a black boy raising his arms
(Hands Up, Don’t Shoot) brought conclusive evidence that his shooting and death
LAPD and the media ensures the community that because the incident was caught
on camera, explanations will be delivered, answers will be discovered and justice will
be served. What has become apparent is that even if you put body cameras on every
cop, if they won’t be held accountable for what we see with our own eyes, it doesn’t
matter.. If juries continue to'allow these racial murders to continue, these cameras
do not matter. If judges continue to overlook evidence, these cameras do not matter.
While details are still being discovered, we must turn a critical eye to what is being
reported by the LAPD. We must criticize what the media does and does not report
on. This incident is already being called another Eric Garner case, reported as a story
following Eric Garner, Mike Brown and Tamir Rice. There is an awful trend of police
violence that includes not only black men but black women often being overlooked.
This is an awful trend of violence that has bled into 2015. We must remember
that All Black Lives Matter and that there have already been several incidents of
violence and death towards transgender women of color this year, leading to the
question: why haven’t these cases been reported? Why haven’t these cases of slain
transgender women of color received the same level of attention as Trayvon Martin,
Michael Brown or Eric Garner? This leads us to wonder whether the Black Lives
Matter movement would be more aptly titled, “Cisgender Black Male Straight Lives
Matter.” Do we only talk about incidents of police violence on black victims when
we physically see it on footage?
The incident in LAPD is horrific and justice deserves to be served. It is not only
the camera’s duty to hold these officers accountable for the victim’s death but
ours to hold the entire criminal justice system accountable. Body cameras on law
enforcement are solid towards the right direction. However, I don’t need the police
officer’s POV. I need justice for All Black Lives.
Facing the tremors caused by the recent
murders of Deah, Yusor and Kazan
As the initial hearing for Craig Hicks
approaches, we hold in the light Deah
Shaddy Barakat, 23, his wife Yusor
Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21, and her
sister Kazan Mohammad Abu-Salha,
19, as well as their families and the
Muslim communities, both near and far,
weathering this loss.
We mourn for them as we mourn
for the many other Muslims whose lives
are cut short by religiously motivated
attacks. We recognize and feel the fear
that these attacks inspire, and we stand
beside our Muslim brothers and sisters,
charging our communities to put an end
to anti-Islamic violence.
In recent years, Islamophobia has
continued to grow in our country,
and while Hicks’s attack has not been
confirmed as a hate crime, the threat
of violence looms over the heads of
Muslims and Arabs.
Of the Guilford community, we
ask for support for those grieving and
affected by the reverberations Craig
Hicks’ gunshots created.
In the wake of this tragedy, we must
remember those who are left feeling
For those of us who have the privilege
to practice our belieft without fear,
it is our duty to practice empathy, to
listen attentively to the concerns of our
neighbors and to work toward making
Guilford College a safe place for those
who feel unsafe.
For those of us who are Muslim or
from Muslim families, we must remember
to persevere and hold hope that our
voices will be heard, insha’Allah.
Omid Safi, director of Duke
University’s Islamic Studies Center,
offered an eloquent call to prayer and
action at UNC Chapel Hill’s Feb. 11
“We can join the families in their
grief and hold them in our prayers
and thoughts,” said Safi, according to
The Daily Tarheel. “We can take part
in fulfilling their dreams: they were all
proud Syrian Americans, proud Muslim
Americans. Let’s fulfill their dreams —
they wanted to change the world. Let’s
pray in every language. Let’s pray in
As a community, this is our time to
come together in support of one another.
Let us work to extinguish Islamophobic
violence and hate speak, and remember
to hold in the light those we have lost.
Reflecting Guilford College's core Quaker values, the topics and content of Staff Editorials are chosen through
CONSENSUS OF ALL 14 EDITORS AND ONE FACULTY ADVISER OF ThE GuILFORDIAN'S EDITORIAL BOARD.
LETTER III EDITOR
by the Campus
To my friends in the community, I would like to relay
a series of events that has shaken my beliefs about how
genuinely we adhere to our stated (^aker values within
our institution. As a result of ill-informed and vengeful
attacks on the character of myself and my friends, I have
been forced to resign from the Campus Activities Board.
During ihy upbringing, one lesson my mother drilled
in me was that I would have to be twice as good, due to
the color of my skin. That lesson never really sank in until
I became a member of CAB here. Taking that lesson to
heart, instead of confronting them, I worked harder. This
year as chair of the Spirit Committee, with my committee,
we threw some of the most successful events in the
history of CAB and managed to attract a large audience
that reached different parts of the community that had
previously not even known about CAB.
But this run of success, made possible by my team, was
not enough to shield me from long-standing prejudice.
As a result of a misunderstanding, the administration of
CAB unleashed a vicious character assault and accused a
committee member and friend of mine of being prejudiced,
without even attempting to understand the context. The
CAB managers also used this incident to finally unleash
their true feelings towards me and punished me by cutting
my pay in half, not because of my actions, but because
of my inaction and failure to reprimand my friend for
his opinion. This would be understandable because I
failed to address this situation optimally. However, they
never trained me for a situation like this. In this light,
perhaps a more reasonable approach would have been
to treat this as an educational opportunity instead of
adopting a cold and mechanical approach due to their
failure to prepare me for this situation. This injustice was
exacerbated because this decision was rendered by an all
white administration that ignored my perspective, which
sounds hypocritical due to the accusations of fostering
prejudice. When I confronted them about my unease with
the decision process, they promised to have a meeting
with me and the Multicultural Education Department, a
promise which was left unfulfilled.
Despite my discomfort and the advice of my friends and
family, I decided to remain and continue the work I did
last semester. I hoped for reconciliation and to rebuild the
lost trust, but I received acrimony and pettiness instead.
Because of an unforeseen academic assignment from my
advisor, I knew that I would be unable to do an event and
informed, in advance notice, the CAB administrators that
I would need some help putting on this event. Because of
their petty grievances against me, they declined to help me
and attempted to adopt further punitive measures. Since I
had enough of this ordeal, I decided to resign.
During my time on this board, I was uncomfortable with
many practices we had. While other student organizations
were starved of funding, we were encouraged to spend
money, even wastefully, so we could get even more money
next year. I attempted to use my funds to collaborate
with other organizations that lacked funding. However,
last semester, I was reprimanded for not spending enough
money. In political science, one learns that, at their worst,
organizations work to protect their own interests not the
interests of the people they serve. CAB here is an example
of an organization like that. Since most of the members of
the board are similar in orientation, the board is subject
to groupthink and resists new ideas. As a result, CAB lacks
a broad enough perspective to reach the student body and
be relevant to most people on campus. Therefore, we had
to use high spending to justify even higher funding.
Despite my criticism of CAB, I want this organization
to succeed and reach more students. However, if it is to
succeed, the CAB administration needs to change its ways
and learn how to embrace different perspectives while
confronting their own prejudices. The leadership of CAB
needs to take a long hard look at itself and, perhaps,
greater transparency in planning and budgeting would
help. Due to my departure, this could be an opportunity
for CAB to right its ways and use some of the sumptuous
funding for my budget for funding some of the safety
and wellness initiatives for Serendipity. I would encourage
anyone who is considering joining CAB to heed my
warnings and not join an organization that doesn’t have
any flexibility for your academic commitments and is
ineffective at achieving its objectives. I think that your
efforts and creativity would be more appreciated and have
more of an impact elsewhere.
Senior Former Spirit Chair of the Guilford College Campus