Taking a stand, and such
Written by Bwog Staff
So can Columbia go a week without a protest? No. No it can’t. But, as speakers at today’s Jena 6 walkout pointed out, Columbia also can’t seem to go very long without somebody taking out their racist vitriol on a bathroom stall or stairwell. “Are you sick and tired of the same shit happening every year?” one speaker asked the color-coordinated crowd of about 200. Judging by the relatively few people who stayed behind during the rally’s 8-block march up Broadway, down 120th St., past SIPA and back to Low Plaza, the answer is a resounding yes.
While protestors didn’t shy away from the psychical rigors of taking a stand against racial prejudice, organizers didn’t shy away from linking Jena, the SIPA graffiti and PrezBo’s scathing introduction of Ahmadinejad. In the rally’s opening speech, MSA president Adil Sayed Ahmed said that what was happening to the Jena 6 was “an extreme example of what’s going on on this campus.” He then warned against the conflation of Islam, Islamofascism, anti-Semitism, male chauvinism, homophobia and probably a number of other things; alas, his speech was interrupted by a renegade balloon arbor set up by Columbia’s Queer Awareness Month (in another odd juxtaposition, Go Ask Alice was also tabling a few steps away on College Walk). Though Ahmed was
understandably flustered, BOSS president Glenda Smiley explained her group’s rationale to Bwog. “The grafitti was found two days after [Ahmadinejad’s] visit. Bollinger opened Pandora’s box.”
She added that “campus isn’t a place where people should be comfortable writing the stuff that was found on SIPA’s wall”–which is something that hopefully everybody can agree on.