Social inequity/racism and institutional racism are nearly impossible to ignore, although many still try to deflect repeated acts of violence toward blacks by police officers—in the streets and schools’ hallways—as well as the patterns of racist aggressions in the workplace and on college campuses by pointing their fingers at “bad” individuals.
White denial may be at a tipping point in the U.S. since student activism on college campuses appears to be resurfacing in ways associated with the Civil Rights era of the mid-twentieth century.
While demanding that the oppressed and wronged take the lead is problematic—it is of course the moral obligation of those with power to do the right thing—black college students and athletes taking stands against racism and inequity, stands for social justice deserve support and praise, but they deserve even more to be heard and then for all of us to act.
Here, I offer a reader related to student activism and racism spurred by the University of Missouri’s and Yale’s recent controversies:
The Vilification of Student Activists at Yale, Gillian B. White
A History of Racism at the University of Missouri, Brent Staples
Perspective on Mizzou, David Ubben
Student Activism Is Serious Business, Roxane Gay
Three Cheers for Student Protests, John Warner
Enter the Real Power of College Sports, Thabiti Lewis
4 Things You Might Have Wrong about the Mizzou Story, Ryan Famuliner