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Editorial

Black History Month lets us think on equality

February 11, 2016

As students at a university, unity is critical.

It’s black history month and, to celebrate, UW-River Falls has some events lined up. On Thursday, UWRF held its 14th annual Soul Food Dinner, put on by the Black Student Union (BSU). This coming Wednesday, Feb. 17, there will be a Twin Cities representative of the much-talked-about Black Lives Matter movement. Lastly, Friday, Feb. 26, will see African Night, BSU’s biggest event of the year, featuring performances, food and a fashion show.

The Student Voice, of course, enthusiastically supports the attention to our black students that these events will engender -- particularly the efforts on the part of the BSU to promote a diverse and inclusive campus.

As university students, we must be aware of others and treat each other as the equals that we are. Every life matters as much as the next and that is a sentiment that we as a campus ought to embody.

Black Lives Matter has been a controversial movement since it began in 2013. While the meaning behind the name is clearly true, members’ methods have been a bit more questionable; for example, interrupting events, such as Bernie Sanders (of all people) and Hillary Clinton speeches, as well as blocking off terminals and roadways around Minnesota’s MSP Airport and demonstrating at the the Minnesota State Fair, chanting “Pigs in a blanket, fry ‘em like bacon,” in reference to the police.

We students will be the people in charge one day and when that day comes, we need to be prepared to support a world where every person receives the respect they deserve, not depending on their skin color but by the content of their character. This of course means fighting to keep equality in our laws and institutions, and working to stop any races from being disproportionately stuck in poverty. This also means supporting minorities celebrating their cultures and, for those of us in the majority, to join in and celebrate right alongside them.

This also means that, when change is needed, protests are held civilly. Black Lives Matter has the support of the Voice in its name and in a mutual desire for equality between all people, but to spread an important message of peace between people of different colors, one has to remember the golden rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Black Lives Matter is missing out on reaching many people with its message because of its protesters’ methods.

Regardless, we look forward to hearing the movement’s representative speak at our campus and to enjoying BSU’s events which, every year, help bring us closer together as a campus and as people of different colors.