Diversity & Other Lies Told By My University – Ferguson Edition

One hour ago, I gathered with friends to stand in solidarity. We stood strong, chanting “Hands up, don’t shoot; Black lives matter!” in the Quad circle, first in a small group of about ten people, later growing to twenty people standing in solidarity with us.Tonight, I got a taste of Rutgers Diversity at its finest.

The Rutgers Diversity that shines brightly on glossy brochure paper, smiling Black and Brown faces gleaming in tandem with white ones was nowhere to be found today as a white girl approached us early into the protest saying “I get it, I totally agree with this but, like, people are trying to sleep”, as if this could be written off as an insignificant instance taking away from her life. The Rutgers Diversity instead presented itself as a white man aggressively approaching my group yelling “your logic makes no sense” as if my fight to protect my life and the lives of my loved ones is anything other than an act of survival, a desire to live. It escalated the situation to incite violence from a group of Black protestors for the sake of making a point. Rutgers Diversity called RUPD on my group. Rutgers Diversity begged Residence Assistants to write me up for a violation, because voicing my need to project Black lives was a disruption to the comfort of laying one’s head onto a pillow and ignoring the suffering of others. Rutgers Diversity left its Quad bedroom and moved to the courtyard, not to stand with us in solidarity but to stand and watch us, mock us, mimic us, turn us into a minstrel show. Rutgers Diversity attempted to drown out our chants with “All Lives Matter!” because a conversation with a focus that excludes a privileged group is racist. Rutgers Diversity danced along to our chants and avoided eye contact, as if our pleads for our lives and tears were presented solely for their entertainment. Rutgers Diversity even took to social media to tell us to “shut the fuck up” and to call us animals in need of pest control.

This is my university.

My university that boasts diversity reared its ugly head today as we stood in solidarity with the city of Ferguson, with the parents of Mike Brown. My university forgot itself in façades of diversity and unity tonight when it told me to silence myself, told me that my voice had no logic, told me that sleep was more valuable than my fight to protect Black lives.

This is my university that will rush to my side to promote me as a success story, another Black girl that made it, another one that beat the odds, suck me dry then call me two years later begging for alumni donations.

My school attempting to “purify” the school and privileging the hard sciences above humanities, diminishing the importance of my degree and stripping me of resources.

My diverse school, where I can count the number of POC professors I’ve had on one hand, my professors who are struggling through a salary freeze as the football program flourishes.

Diversity means nothing in the face of all of this.

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