I attended Lacob’s talk eager to hear his opinion on another issue that has dominated the NBA news cycle for the past several months. I asked what impact the franchise sales of Donald Sterling and Bruce Levenson after both made racially charged comments has on the dynamic of NBA ownership.
Since Aug. 9, I have read hundreds of articles running the gamut from critiquing black culture to condemning police brutality and conservative racism. White liberals have somehow slipped through the cracks of criticism and escaped unscathed. I’m a part of this demographic, and it’s time we talk about how we have treated Ferguson—and better yet, what Ferguson wants from us.
Racial identity functions on a spectrum and is something that an individual has the power to define independently. It isn’t an absolute concept, so there’s no reason why anyone should have to live up to certain expectations about his or her race. Just because you don’t conform to those expectations also doesn’t mean that you can’t still culturally identify with it.
Washington University’s fall academic calendar is unique—starting a full week before most private universities, with two one-day breaks (Labor Day and fall break, which falls a week after Columbus Day), a traditional Thanksgiving break and then ending with a three-day reading week and five days of exams. In the research I have done, I have yet to find a university of the same caliber or size with a directly comparable schedule.
Last week, we printed an op-ed submission entitled “Professors’ endorsement of Israel boycott deserves condemnation” in the pages of this Forum section. The writer’s conflation of anti-Semitism with criticism of a government is a reckless accusation and in no way a defense of the academic freedom or nondiscrimination he claims to hold dear.
A police officer shot and killed Vonderrit Myers, a black male, Wednesday night on Shaw Avenue—this is the only undisputed truth we have as of today. Meanwhile, people have pressed protesters to justify the inclusion of Myers within the Ferguson October demonstrations that took place over the weekend.
It’s Sunday, and the MetroLink is packed with football fans. I emulate my inner-sardine and stand to one side of the door, barely clutching onto a pole. I’m from the fringe of Chicago, so I’m no stranger to public transportation. Being cramped in a small space where the awkward, accidental groping of sweaty strangers is inevitable almost feels like second nature.
Within two weeks of being here, campaign posters for College Council elections saturated my dormitory. A few weeks later, event invitations to elect Freshman Class Council members littered my Facebook and bombarded my notifications. How were students who had been at a school for less than a month already investing themselves so heavily in vying for extracurricular positions?
Last week, I listened to Columbia law professor Patricia Williams lecture at Washington University for the second time. In her talks, Williams, who also writes for The Nation magazine, has emphasized the power of words and the extent to which the words used to surround an event or a photo can dictate how it will be received.
Since the killing of Mike Brown over a month ago, Twitter has driven worldwide attention to protests and ongoing abuse by law enforcement. The feeds of activists, including Antonio French and the Lost Voices, have kept focus and dialogue on Ferguson alive.