Race, Police & Justice: Voices from the Colgate Community

I am writing this article in solidarity with those who have been affected by police profiling and abuse at the hands of the Hamilton Police Department and Colgate University Campus Safety personnel. I personally have not been subject to discrimination by either party, but that does not mean I can allow the mistreatment of my fellow students and Hamilton’s residents to go unnoticed.

Many people today are getting into the habit of taking a bystander stance when it comes to racism in the United States by saying they are not offenders in relation to racial issues. The fact that Campus Safety and Hamilton Police have stated that they do not practice racial profiling is ignorant, as they are not addressing the issue and simply pushing it aside. In the same way that many of Colgate and Hamilton’s White residents have ingrained social biases and prejudices, including myself, means that we must understand our position in furthering white supremacy when it comes to understanding the lives of those with privilege different than our own.

Understanding that Colgate students are coming from many different places with different experiences means that we must take this into account in all situations, but especially in the way that policing in our society works. I am writing this to ask our Colgate and Hamilton community to check their privilege and not take these criticisms personally because if everyone did, who are we protecting other than ourselves?