Black lives matter, On Campus Racism 101
Virginia Myers

You’ve beautifully captured the feelings of awakening and urgency that have resulted from the Black Lives Matter movement, which does not allow the white privileged to register the two realities, but not act to change them. It’s been an appalling/frightening/amazing time to witness tragedy and empowerment — overdue — to address injustice. I look forward to hearing other voices in this space.

My ah-ha moment: I worked for a higher education association in the 1980s. We were planning a special issue of our quarterly magazine on diversity. One of my colleagues — an elegant, older man who had been president of two colleges — told a story from his personal experience as an African-American. He described how he still (then) regularly dealt with being stopped by the police and treated disrespectfully. What an eye-opener to me.

Now, so many years later, as story after story of black lives lost appear in the headlines, and as friends and family describe even very progressive college campuses that just “don’t get it” as far as the lives of people of color are concerned, it resonates. We have to open our eyes and see things as they are, not as we wish they were. So much work to do.

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