To the Colgate Community,
The Colgate Maroon-News Editorial Board condemns the use of racial slurs, whether it be on Colgate’s campus or elsewhere in the world. The incident of this past week was disgusting, violent and directly intended to make students feel unsafe in their own home. It both perpetuates a racist history and makes tangible a racist present.
The majority of this Board are members of the class of 2020. As students and journalists, we have spent the last three-and-a-half years both experiencing and documenting Colgate’s highs and lows. The events of this past week came as no surprise to us, because there is nothing startling about a pattern.
Publishing a statement from the Editorial Board is unprecedented in our time at Colgate; having a racist incident to respond to is not. Still fresh in our minds are the glue gun incident of our first-year spring, the slur graffitied on Chinese New Year decorations mid-way through our sophomore year and posters connected to white nationalist movements appearing during our junior fall. We were still in high school during the Office of Admission sit-in of 2014, led by the Association of Critical Collegians (ACC). But as seniors, we now see what its legacy means. Colgate, its students, faculty and staff remain stuck in a cycle of incident, speak-out, forget, repeat. Our collective memory for injustice doesn’t last longer than the semester’s end.
Calling on the administration to take action is necessary to effect change. Equally important, however, is calling on the entire student body to take action amongst themselves. Students are the perpetrators of these acts of racial violence; they are the source of the pain. Colgate has a bystander problem. White students do not hold each other accountable for the impact of hurtful words and actions. Until conversations happen amongst ourselves beyond the walls of classrooms and speak-outs, the cycle of injustice we force upon our peers of color will continue. We are the problem; we are also the solution.
The Editorial Board
Contact the Editorial Board