By CU Student Government Tri-Exec Joseph Soto
University of Colorado Student Government Tri-Execs John Lurquin, Boneth Ahaneku, and I have been very shocked by racist incidents on the University of Missouri campus and offer our steadfast support and continued prayers and well wishes to students there on behalf of the University of Colorado Boulder's 30,000+ students.
I personally have been profoundly saddened by the acts of racism we've seen. My grandmother, who was at the time only three years removed from being lawfully barred from voting because of her skin color, volunteered for Bobby Kennedy's presidential campaign, where Senator Kennedy raised issues like police brutality and civil rights to a national platform 50 years ago. My grandparents went to school in segregated districts, only two generations removed from sharecroppers and sweatshop workers, and the slaves that came before them. I was taught about racism through the lens of history, but a life of experiences has taught me about racism in the very dangerous present. Time and time again, I've used words to express my feelings about race in America.
However, when you see videos of black students on college campuses and in Greek houses being heckled and discriminated against, hear testimony or even see footage of law enforcement officials targeting people of color in often fatal confrontations, read about or experience instances of discrimination in retail stores, in classrooms, and in every area of life against people of color, it quickly becomes apparent that words are not enough. After time, our "thoughts and prayers" become meaningless as more and more people of color buckle under the weight of the oppressions they face. Our words, at some point, must turn into tangible action in advancement of the cause of social justice.
While we continue to send forth words of hope and solidarity to those struggling against oppression in communities across the country, the three of us stand ready to act here, at the University of Colorado Boulder, to make tangible change for people of color. Please join us in this endeavor.
The Tri-Executives of the University of Colorado Student Government resolve themselves to take the following stances in support of people of color in Boulder, in Missouri, and in places all around our country:
Even all of this effort is not enough, but this represents our best possible step forward. It is our complete intention to do all of this, and then more on behalf of the cause of social justice. To students of color and allies alike, we invite you to join us on social media and over email in creating a dialogue and then meaningful change around issues of race and discrimination.