Strike remainders: rhetoric edition
Written by Bwog Staff
We know you’re tired of it. Bwog’s been a bit busy laying out the November issue, but we promise we’ll get more non-striker coverage up soon. Meanwhile, some noteworthy news bites, next to the Octopus that Ate Affordable Housing:
1. Take Back the Night has issued a statement in support of the strike. Interesting, considering they declined to participate in the Columbia Coalition speakout on Ahmadinejad Day, saying they were a “non-political” organization.
2. The Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race–one of the strike’s potential beneficiaries–has also issued a statement of support, arguing that “internal conflict at Columbia exhibits deeper tensions in the U.S. body politic and its education system.”
3. Aretha Choi wants “the adminstration to know that 4 days was obviously too long of a time for me to wait while they are on their little vacations to Cape Cod or wherever they go to escape their responsibilties.” Also that a CAVA member mocked her and the hunger strike as she was taken to the ER, and that “the students who care enough about Columbia University to want to change enough to starve and to hurt for it, will remain strong.”
4. In an e-mail sent to 33 listservs asking clubs to help with outreach, a strike organizer enumerated the hardships the strikers have so far endured. “But as Bryan has said, we cannot confuse those who are simply weak-willed and prejudiced, with those who we can potentially reach and educate about our demands,” she wrote.
Is it just us, or is Mr. Mercer turning into something of a prophet?
UPDATE, Monday, 9:30 AM: At the abovementioned strike organizer’s request, the full paragraph from which the quote was taken has been posted after the jump.
“That said…those who stand against us think that they can dampen our spirits by beating us down. We are getting attacked by bad press (and lacking press as well), drunk passerbys knocking stuff over at our tent sites, hecklers shouting egregious things like “mmm I want a nice juicy burger right now”, Columbia administration officials giving negotiators blank stares at a meeting when we reported Aretha’s rushing to St. Luke’s Hospital because of low blood sugar, and perhaps the biggest blow to our our faith in our peers, and a terrible thing to see from our fellow students; anti-strikers websites that have propped up and counter-rallies with racist, homophobic, and xenophobic rhetoric being held right by our tents in public. But as Bryan has said, we cannot confuse those who are simply weak-willed and prejudiced, with those who we can potentially reach and educate about our demands. That said, we ABSOLUTELY NEED folks to help us do outreach… there’s a lot of misconceptions floating out there right now about what our demands are, and we need to address them. And just to reiterate, our demands are rooted in a campus in which 1) our core education reinforces the norms of a system that marginalizes people of color, people of faith, queer folks and other groups; 2) Ethnic Studies programs in which we learn about the histories of our own communities (most of which was founded after the 1996 hunger strike led by Latino, Asian American, Black, and American students for Ethnic studies) are under-resourced and swept aside by this university; 3) the administrative organization of our university right now does not allow adequate/ prompt responses to hate crimes, such as t he noose that was hung on a black professor’s door at TC; 4) an official expansion / eviction plan that will displace 5000 residents of West Harlem and will be voted on early December, a plan that bulldozes entire communities in Harlem and uproots real people.”
(Bolding in original)
Tags: hunger strike