Black Lives Matter kept alive at WKU

BLM cartoon

The issue: Recent events like “Black Lives Matter: Continuing the Conversation” are helping to keep the movement alive on WKU’s campus.

 

Our stance: While the protesting in Ferguson may have died down, that does not mean the Black Lives Matter movement should as well.

 

The Black Lives Matter movement spread on social media as a rally against the police brutality that disproportionately affects African-Americans. The movement started after the murder of black 18-year-old Michael Brown by white police officer Darren Wilson in August 2014.

Last September, in solidarity with the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, which began in response to Brown’s death, WKU students organized a march and vigil. There was also a student-organized “die-in” protest held in Downing Student Union last December.

While the movement has been less visible on WKU’s campus since December, that does not mean it has completely disappeared. On Wednesday, the Black Culture Center and the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion hosted an event called “Black Lives Matter: Continuing the Conversation.” They also hosted an event yesterday called “Developing a Vision: Follow-up to ‘Black Lives Matter: Continuing the Conversation.’”

The purpose of both events is to make sure there is still focus on the Black Lives Matter movement because it is still needed. Police brutality is still a problem in the U.S. for people of color, especially African-Americans. This is an issue that needs to be discussed everywhere, Bowling Green and WKU included. People of color deserve to feel safe in their communities and around the police force that is meant to protect them.

According to the WKU Student Profile, out of the 17,517 undergraduate students enrolled in classes at WKU during the fall 2013 semester, 77.3 percent of those students were white. With people of color making up only 22.7 percent of the student population and African American students making up 10.3 percent, it is important that their opinions and fears be heard.

The Black Lives Matter movement allows for the members of these minorities to be visible. It is important that they feel safe while on WKU’s campus.