An Injustice Anywhere is a Threat to Justice Everywhere…Loyola New Orleans Edition

1 07 2008

 

Martin Luther King is the author of the quote above that is my title.  Dr. King lived in a time where racism was alive and rampant.  It was the norm to openly be racist and offensive.  It was looked upon as acceptable to turn German Shepards lose on men, women and small children.  Anything to show that black people didn’t belong.  As long as those blacks got the point, most people thought.  But, by the sweat of a few and pain of many, fifty years later those problems and obstacles do not excist for many us.  African Americans do not have to worry about racism nowhere near the way we did forty and fifty years ago.  But, when racism shows its ugly head you can still feel the chill of it down your spine.  


Loyola University New Orleans is a special place.  Truly, there is no other place like it on the globe.  Its an institution that is diverse among races, social-economic standings and beliefs.  The student body is warm and rich.  However, with all of that diversity I still feel unheard.  I feel unrepresented.  I feel discriminated.  I don’t feel welcome.  Why?  Because I am unheard.  My voice goes deaf, to the administration Kelvin Brown and people who look like him are a check from the federal government.  “We’ve met out quota President Bush, where’s our check?”  “Look, they can shuck and jive Mr. President, they’re GPA’s aren’t bad either why don’t you throw a little more money our way as well.”  When I am not taken seriously my blood curls.  To those who are oblivious to what is going on at my University (to whom of which I pay alot of money to) is OPENLY fucking me and the people who look like me over.  At the beginning of the year, plans arose to renovate our Student Center (The Danna Center).  Naturally, campus buzzed.  It buzzed more in the Black Community when we found out that in the plans, the Center for Intercultural Understanding was to be shut off from the public and our faculty member who serves as mentor, counselor and role model was to be removed .  The current design of the CIU (Center for Intercultural Understanding) was glass encased and open for ANY culture to come in and converse, kick it, relax and enjoy themselves.  Its not hard to realize that the only people who used it were BLACK!  The architect comes into Loyola and the first thing he sees are BLACK kids.  He says to himself, “Why is it that the first thing I see when I step into the building Im in charge of renovating are BLACK kids?”  Thus, in his plans he cuts it off from the outside world.  Removing it would cause too much of a problem so he just hides us all.  Meetings then come up.  Black, Latino, Arab and every other culture EXCEPT white meet with the architect along with School Administration in SEPTEMBER!  A group of nearly 100 students POLITELY express our discontent with the changes being made to the CIU because of the real difference it makes in our lives.  And, as you would expect, the school listens.  The architect agrees with us and is shocked with our effort and decides to leave it alone.  GREAT!  Someone listens to us!  So we thought, well come to find out Loyola hasn’t changed it’s mind and plans are still on schedule, to raze the CIU and erect concrete blocks around it and remove our “campus mom”.   When Spring Semester nearing the end, faculty begin to move and/or find out their placements for the fall semester.  Professor Martin, the CIU’s faculty member is told she will stay in the CIU and no changes will be made.  But,  six weeks into the summer she gets a memo saying her things are being moved and her office (the CIU) is being razed and renovated.  Students quickly organize.  Meetings are planned with administration, students organize admist the chaos thats fastly approaching.  Mind you, these changed are taking place in the summer becasue the administration KNEW they couldn’t pull this off during the school year.  That would be called lying.  And, that doesn’t go over well with donors IE people with money!!!  So, the students who look like me plan a sit in to stop the moving of our faculty member and the razing of our office.  School Administration comes down to find an office of over 30 students DURING the summer.  Most of which are in summer class and some even took off work to show their dedication.  The school administration came down and said, WE’RE NOT GOING TO CHANGE ANYTHING!  WE UNDERSTAND THE VALUE OF THIS OFFICE TO YOU AND WE WILL NOT CHANGE IT!!!!!!!! WE WILL LEAVE PROFESSOR MARTIN IN HERE AS WELL!!!!!  Come to find out Loyola lied again.  Today they sent a demo crew to take Professor Martin’s belongings out of her office while she was on vacation in FLORIDA and began razing the CIU.  Talk about hurt!  I really was taken back.  How low is that?  How do you explain what you just did to a group of students who expressed their discontent over and over?  Who went about everything the right way? How?!? It makes me feel like a check.  Like I’m voiceless, like I’m invisible and like I am alive and kicking during the 60’s.  How can I be open to growth inside a University that won’t be open to me and people who look like me?  There is no excuse Sissy Petty and Father Wiles.  You have failed me as people.  And, now you have awoken a sleeping giant.  We will be heard!

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3 responses

2 07 2008
R.A. Davis

As usual, some of my people are mouthing off just because you think you got a right. Nearly all your facts are wrong. No architect ever said the CIU wouldn’t change with the new building design and Lisa Martin knew it from the very first meeting. Do not be comparing yourself or her to MLK talking on a cause. You been lied to but not by the administration. A lot of us don’t go near the CIU BECAUSE of that glass wall. I don’t need to be on display for anybody, and I don’t need to talk to a woman who thinks she’s doing the black kids good by inviting them to come lie around on her office floor. Where are the programs she is supposed to make happen? It IS a multi-cultural center, so why are only black kids ever welcomed there? The CIU was going to have a big beautiful room upstairs in the Danna Center but because of your ignorance and Lisa Martin’s lies to you, you are getting what you wished for and making more trouble for the students who want to get an education at the college they want to attend. We are not discriminated against at Loyola but someone has made you believe we are. Who is that? Lisa Martin? You are alive and kicking in 2008 and you don’t need nobody making you think that making a building look a whole lot better is bringing you down.

2 07 2008
3rdshift513

Eveyone is entitled to their opinion. The difference in opinion is in where the facts lie. I fully understand that some people don’t want to be looked on and prodded against. Ok, cool. I also understand how some people don’t want to be precieved as handouts. Me either. I’m not a handout. I’m not weak neither am I stupid so to have a University openly play me to my face when I’m paying them a service is a down right smack in my face for what I believe in and how I’ve been brought up. Before you speak about things or cast an opinion make sure you have ALL the facts and understand what they are trying to do to YOU and people who look like you. And, for anyone who says that the CIU was for only black people never took the time to step inside the office and conversated with Professor Martin or the student workers, or the students in there. You know why I feel that way? Because I used to be one of them. Until, I had the greatest conversation with Robert Manson, an Austrailian transfer student. Or, came in the CIU with that attitude and had it quickly refuted by Professor Martin and her student workers. Stay current on what’s happening at YOUR University my fellow classmate. Because, Sissy Petty herself walked down to the CIU and commended the students for standing up for what they believed in, brought brownies and gave “good” news that the CIU would be renovated the way we saw fit. Only to find out that that was a lie. Come on, don’t fight fire with plastic. I Love Loyola. I wouldn’t be the person I am without the experiences that this institution has given me over the past year. Just research it for yourself before you get in it. And, please don’t call people “coons” for standing up for what they believe, because if you don’t stand for something…well you should know the rest.

-Shift Love The Kids

2 07 2008
Jasmine Bailey

I find it hilarious that someone who does not use the CIU (and probably dose not need to use the CIU) have such strong convictions about it. I also find it funny that this has turned into an attack on personal lives, and not the facts that R.A. Davis finds displeasing. However the truth remains CONSIDERING I THE FACT THAT I HAVE HELD AND BEEN INVITED TO MEETINGS WITH THE ADMINISTRATION IN CHARGE OF BUILDING AND SIGNING THE CONTRACTS OF THE ARCHITECTS, that Loyola has ignored the cries of the students that ACTUALLY NEED the CIU. The fact that you do not visit the CIU means that you DO NOT need it, because if the need was there then i am sure you would simply walk in through the doors. Don’t other students enter? Whether it is for scheduling your classes, asking a favor, or resolving an issue.

THE FACT REMAINS THAT A WHITE PRIVILEGED MALE HAS DECIDED WHAT STUDENTS SHOULD WANT. STUDENTS THAT ACTUALLY USE THE CIU. While i may allude to the fact that R.A. Davis’ opinion does not matter (which is how i really feel) I would not deter him/her expressing his/her feelings. I have held meetings with people that actually matter and THEY told ME that my opinion does not matter. I AM A STUDENT THAT LEGITAMETLY USES THE CIU. I USE IT FOR MORE THAN JUST A SOCIAL AREA.
But the fact that a student is uncomfortable with coming into the CIU just means that they are uncomfortable with BLACK STUDENTS that face the same problems AND THEN SOME. SO PLEASE do not think that WE HAVE NOT HEARD THE FACTS because baby, i have been told the facts to my face…and lied to all in the same breath.

-please be real.

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