On Tuesday over 600 students and staff from Bucknell University participated in the 18th “solidarity march for students who have been silenced or marginalized,” organized in part by the (aptly named) Social Justice Residential College.
Marchers read poetry, sang songs, and danced to express their discontent about all the “violence in the world” which “has only escalated,” (according to Cynthia Peltier of the Community Alliance for Respect & Equality), and about how Bucknell and the US in general have handled race matters.
Student Maddie Galvez read in a poem that “I’m mad we still have to hold marches about this shit.”
Ella Tazuana Johnson, 21, Linguistics & Arabic Studies, another student performer spoke to what solidarity at Bucknell meant to her.
“Solidarity at Bucknell means to coming together as one, uniting to stand against injustice on different groups that aren’t representative of the majority, and standing up for what you believe in, as well. I think solidarity means, if you don’t necessarily agree with someone else, you should still be understanding and be more empathetic towards other people’s beliefs and ideologies.”
We asked the same question to Favour Unigwe, 18, International Relations & Economics, a Bucknell student attending the event, who said:
“I believe that solidarity at Bucknell is basically all of us recognizing the privilege that each of us has, acknowledging the struggles that our fellow Bucknellians experience due to the systems of oppression that exist in America and at Bucknell, and then taking steps to show that we care and are working to dismantle those systems.”
“Systems of oppression” — at a school which costs over $50,000 per year.
Completing the narrative-over-facts protest fest was student Jackson Pierce, with “arguably the most memorable poetry reading of the evening”:
Two hundred years might seem far back but I promise you the wound still stings.
Especially when we still have Michael Browns and Rodney Kings.
You can’t kick back, press play, and live stream the revolution.
What we need is a cultural electrocution.
Yes, the “if you repeat a lie often enough it will become truth” approach remains alive and well with regards to Michael Brown … despite the evidence.
IMAGE: Ron Mader/Flickr