Dear Distraction community,
I’m writing to you because we are in a time of social revolution. There is a continuing trend in just about every situation of social change that has occurred thus far. There is a time when the dam breaks, and the oppressed are tired of not getting the change they deserve. This year, the murders of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor chipped away at the already weak structure. On May 25, the murder of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer was the final straw.
Of course, this is not the first time that a Black person has been violently killed for no reason. There have been protests, and there have been pleas to the government to reform issues that lead to the oppression of an entire race, but these moves were not met with change – people are tired of settling.
As the Editor-in-Chief of a mostly white staff at a mostly white school (only 8% of students are Black at UM), I have realized that I will NEVER truly understand, or even be able to fathom, what Black people in the U.S. are feeling right now. What I can do is listen, learn and try my hardest to support the Black community as best I can.
When it comes to Distraction, we have talked over how to handle coverage of the protests and the other topics that go along with this issue. The media is an extremely influential platform for people to express opinions, facts and emotions. The realization we came to is that as non-Black people, yes, we should support, donate and do whatever we can to help – but we do not have the right to take up the space that Black people could be using to speak on this topic.
In saying that, we will be reaching out to Black student-leaders in our community to speak on the protests, trials and overall issues of race in America. In the coming weeks, look out for this coverage – and please, if you have something to share, email me ([email protected]) or DM us. We want to give you the space to publish what you have to say because you are worthy of having a space to be heard, and we want to listen.