Letter to the Editor: Tulane students call for solidarity with local organizers

reopening

Uptown for Black Liberation

Calling all Tulane students that are still living in New Orleans,

The United States of America is currently immersed in protest. On social media, those that we follow, from celebrities, to corporations, family members and peers, are making efforts to publicly support the Black Lives Matter cause. On the streets of America’s most prominent cities, the people that are voicing their emotions and standing with the oppressed, are being violently removed for exercising their human right to protest peacefully.

New Orleans has been unique during these protests. For the past seven days, Duncan Plaza, the park in front of City Hall, has become a safe space where protesters can organize and build a larger voice together. Remarkably, every night that the people have come together and marched the historic French Quarter, confrontation and violence have been minimal. The national news is a 24-hour live look at chaos and violence. CNN and Fox News reporters have not brought their biases to the Crescent City because they’re looking for chaos, but they’re finding peace. Because of that, the space to protest can grow. Everybody that takes up a few feet of concrete adds to the singular voice of the people. Whether you have just graduated, or you’re taking summer classes, or you’re just living in NOLA for the summer, all Tulane students and others in the Uptown community have the power to stand together against what we have known for so long to be a problem in our country. Tulane students are educated folks. The Tulane faculty will most likely try to play some positive role in these movements; however, the faculty is powerless without its students.

That is why Tulane students must demonstrate how truly audacious we are. Earlier this year, President Mike Fitts and his Presidential Commission on Race and Tulane Values found that the Victory Bell, the symbolic representation of the commencement of a Tulane students education, was originally used on a plantation to direct the laboring slaves. While it was right for Tulane to take down the bell, the students never came together to acknowledge the unfortunate incident. On Friday, June 5, 2020, any and all members of the Uptown Tulane/Loyola community who would like to come together to gather in front of McAlister Hall, where the now infamous Victory Bell used to be displayed, and stand against the systematic oppression that is tearing our country apart. Now, more than ever, Tulane students have an obligation to come together, to stand in solidarity with the majority-Black city we call home and in opposition to the injustices of police, corrupt public officials, white supremacists and any non-ally of the oppressed.

If you are interested in coming together in demonstration, if you are uncertain of how to express your emotions, if you feel alone during these trying times, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. If you have questions or concerns, this is the place to voice them. If you would like to help the cause, join the Facebook group “Uptown for Black Liberation.” On Friday, the united voice of the people that make up this vibrant neighborhood will be heard.

Sincerely,

Uptown for Black Liberation