The Tulane Hullabaloo

Intersectional Confessional: Today, I wished I was a cat

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Adelaide Basco | Art Director

Today, I wished I was a cat.

I could walk around and know my existence would be appreciated on this campus. No, protected on this campus. I could purr, bat my eyes, and you’d see me as soft and loveable. The idea of someone threatening my existence would enrage you, evoke your deepest sympathies and be worthy of your Facebook rage. Tulane could be held accountable for hiring animal trapping services, because I’d deserve to be free, respected and protected. I would be seen as innocent. Why would you go after an innocent, harmless cat?

I deserve to be safe at Tulane, not to be trapped and carted away, for I know not of the dangers of the distant shelters that may face me. I may not survive there. You would sign a petition for me, because Tulane’s plan is “cruel and inhumane.” In doing so, you’d show how many people care, how deeply people care, for me as a campus cat.

Today, and every day, I am black.

I walk around and know that my existence is interrogated on this campus. No, resented on this campus. When you see me, I am callous and unlovable. The idea of racist violence threatening my existence on this campus, in this city, in this world, does not evoke your sympathy. As you scroll through your Facebook feed, you think not of the defaced Black Lives Matters signs at the Center for Public Service, not of the “It’s Okay to Be White” flyers and certainly not of your own friends rejecting me from their parties. My skin speaks for me and lets them know “who I know there.” Tulane cannot be held accountable for racism from fraternities or TUPD or its own founders because I don’t deserve to be free, respected and protected. I am not innocent, why wouldn’t you go after an aggressive, suspicious person? I don’t deserve to be safe at Tulane and should transfer or go elsewhere, for you know not the threat my presence poses to this campus.

I may not survive here. You wouldn’t sign a petition for me. Tulane is an institution that was founded exclusively for the education of white males. Tulane is an institution that was built from wealth made possible only through the violent exploitation of enslaved human beings. Tulane’s plan is “cruel and inhumane.” Your political inaction, apathy and silence shows just how little you care for black people and want them to remain on Tulane’s campus.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Intersectional Confessional: Today, I wished I was a cat”

  1. Britt on October 27th, 2018 11:40 am

    What a powerful metaphor. I’m sorry you have been made to feel this way. It may be of little comfort, but you aren’t alone. There are students and faculty who care and want change. Keep speaking the truth of your experience. There are so many who need to hear it.

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Intersectional Confessional: Today, I wished I was a cat