An hour long sit-in was scheduled starting at 1pm yesterday, November 12th. It is 12:58pm on November 13th and that sit-in is still going on. Students, faculty members, staff members, and administrators are in Frost talking about the racial tensions that still exist on campus today. In order to respect the conversation that is happening, we will not be live-blogging. Instead, we’d like to state the reasons why every student, faculty member, staff member, and administrator should be in attendance.
Excuse #1: But I am not a member of a minority group. I have nothing to offer.
You still have a place at this meeting by virtue of you being both an Amherst student and a human being. This is the perfect opportunity for you to learn about the experiences of your peers who are members of minority groups. This is your time to step up in solidarity.
Excuse #2: But I am not a member of a minority group. I would feel uncomfortable being there.
If you are coming from a place of privilege, it is important to place yourself in environments of discomfort. People of color spend much of their lives in discomfort, their daily experience on this campus is one of discomfort. The very least the privileged can do is take the time to participate in spaces where they are not the most prominent voice. This is a discomforting experience, but this is as it should be. Ending racism will make members from oppressive groups uncomfortable, and that is not a reason to shy away from that task.
Excuse #3: I have homework and classes to prepare for, and don’t have the time.
Many of your professors are probably in Frost at this moment. Faculty across departments being encouraged to cancel classes or use class time tomorrow to discuss issues of how racism manifests itself on our campus. In fact, getting in touch with your professors, asking them to allocate time for these discussions and to come to Frost as well is another step you can take to get faculty involved in this conversation. Our academics cannot take precedence over the humanity of our fellow students.
Come and participate in the conversations happening at Frost, either to share your own stories or listen to those of your peers.