LTTE: CSU’s ‘No Place 4 H8’ rally was not intended to stop racism

Guest Author

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by the Collegian or its editorial board. Letters to the Editor reflect the view of a member of the campus community and are submitted to the publication for approval.

Dear Editor,

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This letter is a response to Arisson Stanfield’s column “CSU don’t wait ‘4 H8’ this upcoming year” that ran July 12. I understand and agree with some of the arguments that are made, right up to the end.

Based on the column, it does not appear that Stanfield understood the premise of the campaign. Racist people attend the University because being racist is not a crime and wherever people choose to be openly racist there is no response from authority for the same reason. People are allowed to speak and, to an extent, act as they wish with no consequence.

No Place 4 H8 was not an attempt to end racism on campus. The 2016-2017 school year had many public displays and openly discussed reports of racism, many of which occurred on campus by students. Though I am a white man, I felt uneasy because I got the feeling I was surrounded by uniformed, hateful people who were also my peers.

The CSUnite rally was a chance to demonstrate that those individuals are not representative of the University, student body, or the City of Fort Collins. Everyone in attendance had the opportunity to stand united and regain a sense of community and justice through the words of those affected first hand.

If you had listened to and heard the messages conveyed by those brave enough to seek change, they were not ones of resolution. These were messages of empowerment, acknowledgment and support of our University beginning to actively take steps together.

Could CSU have done more? I think so and this is where we agree. But if you are putting racism in general on the University to fix, I think you are mistaken.

It is not an easy problem to solve as we are still very much experiencing it, especially in this political climate. And even if the campaign was centered around more mandatory education as you suggested (such as the drug and alcohol education for CSU students) I think you still would have written a similar piece.

I decided to write back because, though the campaign could have done more initially, I saw a community come together and leave with a changed mindset and attitude. CSUnite serves as a starting point for CSU to begin resolving an age-old atrocity much larger than itself. I just believe that credit is owed where credit is due.

Drew Smith

Senior, Journalism & Technical Communications

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