Op-Ed: LSA Student Government Diversity Affairs Committee stands in solidarity

Thursday, September 29, 2016 - 5:54pm

Monday morning was met with racist flyers spread around campus endorsing principles of white supremacy and blatant hateful sentiment. As painful and regrettable as this situation is, it serves to highlight the paradox underlying experiences of Black (and other minority) students on campus: On one side, they are met with faculty members and administrators drafting and designing extensive plans to address matters of diversity, and on the other side, down the halls of our buildings, they are met with posters attacking their very identity. We become so caught up in elaborate discourses regarding freedom of speech that we lose sight of the simple truth that human dignity and respect for others is not debatable.

As students are drafting statements (just like this one), creating safe spaces and hosting teach-ins, equality and justice cannot be empty words. Equality and justice must be fundamental, inalienable human rights. We must endeavor not to treat “diversity, equity and inclusion” as a flowery slogan, but rather we need to foster an accepting climate for all students. Though we do not have the power to control all prejudice and racial discrimination, we can stand in solidarity with those targeted and in unwavering rejection of those who disseminate hatred.

With solidarity,

LSA Student Government Diversity Affairs Committee

If any student organizations have an interest in discussing ways to improve campus climate in collaboration with LSA Student Government, please reach out to Ibtihal Makki at iimakki@umich.edu.