Wilfrid Laurier University Student Publications is an independent student media organization with an obligation to amplify the voices of the unheard and underrepresented.
Over the past week, we have watched events unfold that have laid bare the toxic institutional roots of white supremacy. As an organization, we want to acknowledge that these roots are deep. None of these problems are new and none of them are invisible; they have merely been buried by a status quo that prioritizes ignorance and the safe existence of white lives over all others.
Black and racialized folks in our community are grieving. The lives that have been lost, reported and not, have carried with them the weight of their injustices.
As we acknowledge the existence of racism in our own community and beyond, it is important for us to also recognize that our silence contributes to institutional acts of violence. We have been discussing various ways that we can use our platform to contribute to this conversation in a meaningful way since it is our duty to challenge the members of our community and to encourage dialogue.
At this time we would like to extend our platforms to those comfortable with sharing their experiences. It is our obligation to shed light on the pervasiveness of white supremacy to our audience. To accomplish this, we must use our platform to uplift and affirm the lives of marginalized folks, and we must use our privilege to address these fundamental inequalities.
In an open letter to the non-black community at Laurier, the Laurier Waterloo Centre for Student Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (CSEDI) has expressed that “the systems we work within are unjust. Black people deserve better. And we need to be part of making that real. We owe it to the lives taken away.”
It is not enough to simply be “not racist”: as a collective — and as individuals — we have a duty to be actively and intentionally anti-racist.
Black Lives Matter.