Editor’s Note: The views expressed in the following column are those of the writer only and do not necessarily represent the views of the Collegian or its editorial board.
By Kwon Von Atlas, Mayoral candidate, CSU alumni
The civil rights movement in America is often seen as an opaque time period remembered in black and white images of marches and sit-ins. It is slowly becoming a distant moment that is gentrified and manipulated by political elites who cherry-pick words from the movement like “equality” and “diversity.” These words are now used to dismantle progress towards self-determination and shared equity for minorities. Far right groups are growing in relevancy by twisting equality into a call for equal representation for racism, sexism and homophobia, calling it diversity of thought. Recently at CSU the Diversity Grant and other diversity-promoting initiatives have been under attack by this rhetoric.
This new strategy is effective and dangerous because often our leaders are ill-equipped to argue against it. This is why I am skeptical when politicians champion diversity so frivolously. It has become a box that every political hopeful has to check before running for office and it can be hard to tell who is really up to the task. As the writer of the Diversity Bill, which was an amendment to the ASCSU Constitution, adding voting seats for students of color, LGBT orientation, veteran status, disability and more, I am particularly interested in the race for CSU student body president. This student has the power to veto any bill weakening or removing the amendment students fought three years to pass. Looking at the options for this election, there is no one I trust more than Eddie Kendall.
Eddie fought alongside students who wanted to pass the Diversity Bill. He also helped amend the bill, making it bulletproof. I remember how in an emotional response, Eddie even resigned from ASCSU to focus on getting the bill passed. He cried with us when it did not pass the second vote, but I remember he did not give up. He worked even harder with the other side to bring it back up for a third vote and celebrated with us when it ultimately passed. There are many great choices for student body president this year, but as a fellow ram for life, I encourage you to vote and canvass for Eddie and Kyrie. In my opinion, they have the most relevant experience to the challenges facing all CSU students next year. Get out and vote! Don’t sit on the sidelines and don’t forget about the City election either. You have the opportunity to vote for a new mayor and a new student body president who will fight for you.
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