As students, staff, and faculty at an institution of higher learning we endeavour to make the world a better place upon graduation. There are times, however, when our voice must be used outside of the classroom and our impact must be felt beyond the walls of our campus. We stand in solidarity with all those fighting against hatred or enduring violence because of their race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.
The recent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, and Samwel Uko means that their names will be added to a horrifyingly long list of people of colour who have died because of racial indifference or outright hatred. The names of these young people will join those whose stories can only be told by grieving friends and devastated families as they become part of the unheard voices of those killed because of who they were.
With each individual taken before their time, they become part of a sad and sickening tale, too unimaginable to be told but one that is right in front of our eyes for all to behold. The colour of one’s skin, the place of one’s birth, or the way one elects to express their gender should never be reasons for one to fear being part of this world. Instead they should be the reasons we come together, the reasons we celebrate, and the reasons we are better as a society when we stand together.
In many parts of the world people of Asian heritage are blamed for the COVID pandemic. In various countries such as India, religious minorities are not afforded the same freedoms as followers of major religions. Those who terrorize through biphobia, homophobia, transphobia, and xenophobia are not restrained borders. In the United States, cities pulsate with hatred and fear as more mothers must bury their sons, their daughters, and their hope for a better world.
We can never think though, that these issues are only in other countries or just the problems of our neighbours. We are not blameless in Canada, as missing and murdered Indigenous women disappear across the country with the cry of their lost voices becoming deafening. The racial ramifications from the scars of colonialism continue to bleed into our systems, institutions, and, perhaps more damaging, the ideas of the next generation.
We invite students, staff, faculty, and community members to join us at the Emergency Solidarity Rally taking place at the Saskatchewan Legislative Building Tuesday at 11am. For more information on the rally visit:
https://www.facebook.com/events/586680855377650/. For information on the Anti-Racism Events taking place in Regina from June 2-7 visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/638616190328160
We must say “no more” but say it with peaceful action and demonstration rather than just words.