SGA senators view reparations resolution as step for greater understanding

Brian Anderson

Ta-Nehisi Coates, one of the most outspoken proponents for civil rights of our time, published an article in 2014 titled “The Case for Reparations.” His advocacy has sparked debate across the country on a defining issue of our time.

The Huffington Post recently explained that while Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Michigan) has introduced the Commission to study Reparations Proposals for African-Americans Act every year since 1989, that bill has consistently been stalled.

Inspired by the work of Tyriek Mack and other students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Senator Andrea Ambam and myself recently wrote a resolution to call for reparations for black students here at Western Kentucky University. We believe that this legislation is an important step in creating a dialogue on and off campus that to recognize the grievances faced by black students here at WKU.

While the resolution calls for free tuition for black students, we’re not expecting that to materialize anytime soon. What we do believe could come as a result of this legislation though, is a greater understanding from the university that more can be done for students that don’t benefit from systems that traditionally benefit white students like standardized testing for financial aid.

Our hope is that as a result of this resolution, power structures that have been upheld to privilege a select few can be changed for the greater benefit of all. Society is not helped by having one class of people systematically denied educational opportunities, after all, we’re in this together.

Letter by Brian Anderson

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