Black Student Association Hosts Peaceful Protest Rally

Rachel Greene, Editor-in-chief

 

The Black Student Association at Western Illinois University is fighting back after racist and derogatory remarks were made on the Facebook post of a student.

 

After a news story broke from WGEM.COM late last week entitled, “Western Illinois University warns students to stop holding ‘large social gatherings,’” a student posted a Facebook post that said the article focused predominantly on black students hosting parties and ignored the multitude of white students who have been going to the bars in Macomb. 

 

Black Student Association member Shakyria Bailey, said “We are not surprised an event like this has happened. Western Illinois University has allowed black students to experience racial discrimination and be victims of hate crimes long before that post. We are tired of getting ‘remarks’ from administrators and hope they will begin to actually take action. Marijuana use on campus is regarded as a serious crime on campus. Hate speech should have been something they take just as seriously. These issues are things administration knows and has done nothing about but continue to ‘make statements.’” 

 

Following the Facebook posts, Western Illinois University’s Black Student Association (BSA) has rallied to host a “Black Lives Matter Peaceful Protest Rally” Today at 4 p.m. On the flyer, which has been posted to their Twitter (@BSAofWIU), they make sure to clarify that masks and social distancing are required. 

 

Bailey went on to say, “Students can get involved by standing with us in our protest. They can also make sure they are fighting for black students on a daily basis. This includes in-class and around campus. Black students face many microaggressions and often don’t have allies in those spaces that speak up on their behalf. Allies should also be mindful of their behaviors and make sure they are listening and learning from us, but should not be afraid to use their privilege to help. We would like to include that these issues are not new. Sadly we have been facing this issue for years on campus. The administration has been aware and has not taken the appropriate actions. The campus is not the only problem, Macomb’s community has also been a huge problem. We are protesting because we are not going to be silent or passive about any of these issues. It is time this campus/community gets over the culture shock of us being here. And begin appreciating what we do bring. We understand they are not used to us but they need to get used to us.”

 

The protest is taking place at the Freedom of Speech Area, which is indicated in the map below. All are welcome to participate.