A new age awakens one of the biggest movements in civil rights history as countries around the world unify by taking a stand. Protestors are taking to the streets over the corrupt systematic issue of police brutality — specifically for African Americans. The Black Lives Matter Foundation Inc was established in 2013 after the death and murder of Trayvon Martin which strives as stated on their website to ‘eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.’ Haskell May of 2019 Alum from the Business Administration program and past Student Body President Lindsey Robinson expresses her experiences and thoughts on these current events.
Robinson knows this injustice and has seen it before with her very eyes. She says, “I remember being a kid and asking my dad why I’d never had any confrontation like that and simply put he said because I’m white.” Robinson refers to the police brutality of Tamir Rice who was killed in 2012. This is her drive when it comes to this ongoing issue and says, “…if I don’t stand up and try to make a difference I’d be taking advantage of my opportunities.”
Robinson, like many others, participated in the Lawrence, KS march and donated supplies to the march that was ongoing in Kansas City, MO. She talks about moments at the Lawrence march. The day took place in downtown Lawrence on Massachusetts street. Robinson’s words are, “…the moment of silence taking a knee in the middle of the road. A moment to reflect on our lost brothers and sisters. A moment of pure beauty.” She then goes on to share a horrific event during the march when a vehicle drove right through the crowd of protestors. “It was a moment of pain where you think how the hell do you drive into a crowd of people and think ‘this is fine’,” says Robinson.
Current HINU student Jasmine Newton, participated in an early march in Kansas City, MO that was held within the plaza. Newton talks about the various highlights that occurred that day when tear gas, pepper spray, and individuals were breaking glass on the far sides of the protestors, “When we were doing nothing.” Newton states, “This is a time for change. We as native people also suffer for the simple fact we aren’t white people. When another minority group is in distress, I’m ready to respond. We are stronger together.”
Robinson and Newton both see the need for immediate change, demonstrating their strength in participation in this movement. Both women indicated multiple actions that can be taken to create this change. Robinson has taken into consideration and the beginning steps to attend Law school directing herself towards the J.D. Tribal Law program at the University of Kansas. She also mentions that this is the time to think and “…really take into account the people we elect.” Newton expresses similarly to Robinson stating, “…we need legislation to help minorities…”
As this movement continues forward, The Indian Leader recognizes and acknowledges the injustice and systemic issues that are occurring and supports the Black Lives Matter movement. The Indian Leader staff, writers, and sponsors stand in solidarity with all involved, affected and those that have and are currently experiencing police brutality and White supremacy. The Indian Leader stands with our brothers and sisters that are current, past and future African American students here at HINU. We are all in this together and you have our support because Black Lives Matter.
Featured Image of a quote by the Student Government Association made public on June 28, 2020.