George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Micheal Brown, Trayvon Martin and so many other black Americans have been killed by the hands of systemic racism. The death of the 46-year-old father Floyd has sparked protests in all 50 states and around the world, where people are chanting black lives matter and demanding justice.
We at The Current believe that black lives matter, and we must use our platform to promote black voices and justice. Systemic racism still exists in the United States and change, which only comes when a majority of people demand it, starts with us.
Everyone has ways they can improve, and that includes us. The Current will implement changes to our newsroom in the fall semester, whether it be remote or on campus. First, we will provide our staff with diversity training and better promote anti-racism in the newsroom. We will, as we have done in the past, ensure our working environment is a safe and comfortable space for students of all races, ethnicities, sexualities, genders and creeds.
Throughout the 2019-2020 year, we set goals to report on race and diversity on Eckerd’s campus. We will continue to expand on these issues further this year. The Current has a duty to report on racial inequality and issues on our campus. We must hold our administration and student body accountable. Racism does exist on our campus. Just last semester, the N word was written on a student’s car. The Current will do its part in bringing racial injustice into the spotlight. We have a responsibility to show and focus more on diverse viewpoints through our writing, photography and multimedia within our group of student journalists, but also within the campus and the St. Petersburg community.
We believe in the First Amendment right of peaceful protest and of freedom of the press. These rights stand in contrast to tear gas being fired at peaceful protesters in front of the White House for President Trump’s address on June 1, and when CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez was arrested live on air.
These attacks on the press, coupled with brutality toward protesters, illustrates how our criminal justice system needs reform.These are not just the actions of the individual officers, but ramifications of racial injustice throughout the history of the United States, from slavery during our founding, Jim Crow laws after the civil war to modern-day redlining and mass incarceration.
We encourage everyone in the Eckerd community to do their part in fighting for racial justice, whether it be participating in peaceful protests, signing petitions, donating if you are in the financial position to or educating yourself.