The Heights is appalled and saddened by the killings of George Floyd, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, and the countless other instances of racist violence and police brutality around the country. We stand in solidarity and support of all Black BC students and Black Americans, and all who have been protesting these horrific injustices.
The protests across the country have once again called national attention to police violence and the systemic racism ingrained not just in policing and the justice system, but in all walks of American life. Concrete action must be taken to rectify these countless instances of injustice against Black people in America—and to ensure they will not happen in the future.
The Heights stands in solidarity with Black BC students and Black Americans. Non-Black students at BC have the responsibility to speak out against this injustice and take action to combat racism. Non-Black students should donate, protest, sign petitions, vote, and listen to and elevate Black voices—but this is by no means an exhaustive list.
The Heights is dedicated to reporting accurately and fairly on the protests that are held in Boston in response to Floyd’s death. We are committed to being a venue where all voices can be heard, whether it be through our reporting or our op-ed pages.
Boston College has a responsibility to support its Black students. BC students have had to protest racism on campus too many times, even just in the past several years. In the 2018 Student Experience Survey, three-quarters of BC students who identified themselves as Black or African American reported experiencing unfair treatment or harassment because of their race or ethnicity in the year prior. Less than half of Black or African American students said that if they could start over again, they would choose to attend Boston College.
BC needs to do more than say it condemns racism. It must listen to the voices of Black students on campus and hear what it is they need—whether it be increasing the funding for AHANA+ programming or the diversity of staff and faculty members, BC has a responsibility to make changes to support its Black students. Listening to the voices of Black students at BC and Black people in America is imperative.
The Heights is committing to allocating $10,000 in advertising space for nonprofits that are working to combat racism. We will donate $300 to the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting, which is dedicated to “increasing and retaining reporters and editors of color in the field of investigative reporting.” These are small steps. We know that there is always more to be done, starting with our commitment to publish more Black voices and reach out to more Black student journalists.
The Heights stands in full solidarity with all those that are working to make this change happen. Black lives matter.
Featured Graphic by Meegan Minahan / Heights Editor