Sometimes you need an alert.
It could be time to change your smoke alarm battery, or time to pick up Grandma from MMA class.
Perhaps your home’s carbon monoxide levels are high…or just maybe, there’s a pro-life speaker on campus.
Such a lookout is something select students at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill are eying.
As reported by Young America’s Foundation, the Black Student Movement (BSM) — in partnership with a Twitter account releasing attendee alerts — has made a list of demands.
The AAAD department cannot be housed under a building with a racist name (Battle Hall), it is…an affront to the very goal and values of a department lacking enough Black professors.
Additionally, the group wants protection from harassment:
Sexual Harassment From CDS Workers
Purpose: To protect Black women and other Black students on campus from harassment in dining halls on campus and provide students with a safe avenue for reporting misconduct
“Black students,” BSM says, “must have a safe reporting platform for misconduct, the same way there were surveys asking for food quality…”
CDS = Carolina Dining Services.
As for sexual assault reporting, BSM wants an “increased diversity of the women’s center, more gender violence coordinators of color (primarily Black),” and the “establishment of a…survivors coalition” specifically for identity groups which are “marginalized.”
Given that “Black and indigenous women are most affected by sexual assault,” at the Women’s Center, BSM mandates “no more hiring white women to fulfill roles that primarily deal with students of color.”
Another aim: “To provide Black students with more easily accessible” ways of protesting a received grade.
The alliance also insists students with darker skin be given “adequate representation among healthcare professionals employed by the university.”
Black students endure trauma every day at this school and have very few resources to reach out to.
BSM sees success as “specifically hiring trauma-informed Black therapists of diverse backgrounds.”
The university isn’t alone in its anti-agony stance.
As I covered last month, at Goldsmiths, University of London, nonwhite students are allowed to apply for extensions on essays and exams due to race-related stress.
According to a study by the school, not seeing various members of one’s own race in charge actuates anguish:
[W]hite students are able to enter higher education with a higher degree of representation from staffing to curriculum, spanning as wide as the Students’ Union. Where scarcely half of BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) respondents believed that Goldsmiths Students’ Union prioritizes race equality and the needs of BME students. …
The lack of relatable role models in a variety of roles within the institution can have a detrimental effect on the BME student experience, in which they are not able to relate with people in positions of authority and seniority.
And at the UK’s Imperial College London, the Faculty of Engineering has posted a course characterizing microaggressions endured by nonwhites as “death by a thousand cuts.”
Hence, the training warns against saying, “There is only one race, the human race.”
Back to UNC-Chapel Hill, the Black Student Movement wants alerts:
Purpose: To include antiracist alerts in the Alert Carolina system with the goal of increasing safety on campus for Black students ahead of what will likely be a tense year for our community. To prioritize transparency with students ahead of a dated and untrue image of campus as a utopia of diversity
Students should not have to sign up for a new service in order to hear when dangerous white supremacists are on campus.
Indeed, BSM expects improvement:
No Agents of White Supremacy on Campus
Purpose: To protect Black students from hateful White Supremacists rhetoric and actions on our campus and improve the review process for receiving permits to speak at the university
Who would those “dangerous white supremacists” be?
Well, they aren’t likely Democrats.
Example of a visit from KKK-ish kooks:
UNC College Republicans bringing Corey Lewandowski, a notable white supremacist and Donald Trump’s campaign manager…
(A) pro-life group, Fall 2019, that specifically targeted Black women
“Both of the groups, BSM laments, “obtained university permits.”
What happened yesterday when racists desecrated the Unsung Founders monument makes it clear that UNC must act now to address the demands issued by Black Student Movement to improve safety of Black students, faculty and staff. pic.twitter.com/NXcqzA7oYe
— UNC Anti-Racist Alerts (@UNC_Alerts) July 11, 2021
Well, hopefully, the school will review the demands and do what’s right.
Meanwhile, the fight against white supremacy — which, so far as I can tell, is largely the fight over what those words mean — continues.
As for antiracism, we’re sure to get a lot more alerts — every single day, courtesy of the news.
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