Show your support in protests

The+Cedar+Valley+community+marches+on+Main+Street+holding+signs+in+support+of+the+Black+Lives+Matter+movement.+

ANNA ALLDREDGE

The Cedar Valley community marches on Main Street holding signs in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

TYLER MONTGOMERY, Opinion Columnist

Last week, I was asked to attend a Black Lives Matter rally that was happening on Oct. 1 by a fellow classmate. Upon arrival, one thought hit me: how small everything really is. Over 100 people showed up, which can be seen as a positive, but where was the rest of the UNI body? I think we need to stop using the word “family” to describe our campus. Our campus clearly isn’t a family. This idea will only promote those who stay in line and can provide the university with “good” talking points and any criticisms are just ignored. Human rights are something that encapsulates everything. It goes beyond the physical, and yet everyone treats it as if they are bigger than it. They treat social/racial issues like little issues to be brushed off.

Obviously, the COVID-19 pandemic will keep people indoors. Those with concerning health issues should stay indoors. Those who do not or are not around those they could infect should be out when your fellow humans need you. The second most shocking thing was no UNI professors were at the rally. Sure, maybe I didn’t recognize them, but without support from our professors, why should we care? They could easily help advise the next generation, and yet those doors seem shut. Yes, they do have a lot of work on their plates, along with outside stress; we all do. Still, everyone should attempt to peacefully protest when they can. It will also open their eyes.

Marching down Main Street, two men wearing confederate flag jackets started shouting slurs at the group. Watching a rally on  YouTube is one thing, but actually seeing the racism is a game-changer. If it can change one person, it can change others as well. How do we get people of all ages to attend rallies?

One way is hitting their interests; take the UNI Film Appreciation Club for example. Looking at the Facebook page, I don’t see much film diversity being shown. I see a lot of films made by white males being played, and they do not have anything to do with current events. When Breonna Taylor died, the film “Do the Right Thing” a  film by Spike Lee, should have been put on the schedule. Even though it’s three decades old, it’s still relevant in today’s world. “Children of Men” should also be shown, “Lady of a Portrait on Fire,” “Queen & Slim” and the list goes on and on. Saying that your personal life and politics do not mix is bad philosophy. We all need breaks, but taking extended periods of time will not help anything. You can educate yourself while relaxing from the happenings around you.

It would seem that there is a communication problem. We do not see those we call our mentors out fighting peacefully with us, the campus seems to ignore problems, and instead of communicating with others about the problem, we tend to just take breaks to escape the world. The problems of racial issues aren’t going to magically go away. It’s going to take time and the effort of all of us to squash it.