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Statement In Support Of Black Lives Matter

Bwog stands in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and the protestors across the country calling for an end to police brutality, white supremacy, and accountability for the police officers and white civilians that murdered George Floyd, Ahmaud Aubrey, Breonna Taylor, Sean Reed, Tony McDade, and the other Black Americans who have faced violence while living in a country founded on white supremacy. This is not a political debate. It is a matter of who we, as a country, believe has the right to live freely and safely within our borders. 

We are currently organizing our finances in order to set up a donation matching program to match donations made o organizations that uplift Black voices and Black communities. In the meantime, we have created a guide to help Columbia students stand up for the movement and advocate for Black Lives Matter. We encourage our non-Black readers to educate themselves on how to be a good ally, donate to Black organizations, buy from Black-owned businesses, sign petitions, and call their elected officials, particularly if you cannot protest in person due to location or health fears due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is not a change that we can only engage over the course of weeks or months. We recognize that Bwog is currently a primarily white publication. In the long-term, we will continue to work to ensure the diversity of our staffers reflects the diversity of our community, that Black voices are heard in campus news, and that non-Black staffers have the training necessary to write about issues that impact Black communities and other communities of color with sensitivity and compassion.

Additionally, we urge Columbia to diverge from its relationship with the NYPD, reevaluate the role and practices of Public Safety on Columbia and Barnard’s campuses, and devote more of its resources to supporting Black students and communities. The violence of the NYPD in the face of largely peaceful protests are further confirmation that the NYPD has no place on our campus—their presence puts Black Columbia students and members of our surrounding community in danger. Issues of over-policing Black students, white supremacy, and racism have directly impacted our campus in recent years, including but not limited to the assault of a Black student by Public Safety, the racist rant in front of Butler, leaks of racist messages from club group chats, and the ongoing gentrification of Harlem. These events show that there is clearly a larger problem of racism and white supremacy at our university. As one of our country’s richest universities, Columbia has the means and reach to dedicate itself to eradicating these structural issues.

It is not enough to be “not racist.” As Black scholars such as Ibrahm X. Kendi have made clear for decades, we must be actively anti-racist. Silence is complicity and the Columbia administration has remained inexcusably inactive as others with far less power and privilege advocate for structural change. As the Columbia and Slavery project has shown, white supremacy and the oppression of Black people have been part of this university since its founding. It is time for Columbia to move beyond form emails in the face of a national uprising and actively commit to building a world without police brutality, white supremacy, and anti-Black racism.

In Solidarity,
The Editorial Board

photo via Bwog Archive

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  • Chip says:

    @Chip “Black people are disproportionately more likely to be pulled over for drug searches, a disparity that, interestingly, disappears after dusk when officers cannot easily identify the race of a driver. Black people are also more likely to be verbally abused by police during interactions…and black people are more likely to be handcuffed, pushed against the wall, and treated with weapons drawn. Blacks are still somewhat more likely than whites to suffer physical and verbal abuse from the cops even when the behavior of the suspect is taken into account. ”
    The above is from an article by CU Professor John McWhorter that does a good job exposing the bias in policing with incontrovertible facts.

    1. anon says:

      @anon Not sure if that is accurate in proportion of crimes being committed, especially violent crimes. Same is true for males too, but they commit 90% of the crimes.

  • @Done says:

    @@Done I would love to see NYPD disengage from the Columbia campus, they have far better things to do as far as I’m concerned. I suggest to let students and able bodied staff and professors provide security such as roving patrols, check ID’s, etc. If not, Colombia University can look into providing their private security and leave Public Safety out of the equation. Colombia U and all colleges do not pay any taxes on any money received such as tuition, endowments, etc. No taxes are paid therefore it collects, collects, and collects. You have plenty of cash on hand to solve your own issues as far as security is concerned. Let the NYPD go and service those in need, not spoiled out of touch students and liberal professors. Take care of your own business and let’s see how long that lasts.

    1. anon says:

      @anon Columbia has all private security that has absolutely nothing to do with the NYPD. Public Safety at Columbia is all private operated by the University. They are there to protect students and property. NYPD is rarely if ever on Columbia campus, only when called upon generally by students. Not sure where people are getting NYPD involved on Columbia campus. Certain events like violent crimes must be reported to the NYPD.

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