First, I want to commend The Murray State News for covering the demonstrators who protested the shooting of Michael Brown outside of Waterfield Library. I’m sure it wasn’t a decision made lightly, considering the area in which Murray State is located.
Secondly, thank you for bringing to light the site Yik Yak and sharing the anonymous, cowardly messages posted by people living in Murray, presumably college students. For future stories, I say try to find a student willing to share their racist opinions and also attach their name to it.
Many people want to believe we’ve moved beyond racism. With the election of President Barack Obama, some would say race relations have gotten better. Yes, they have gotten better, but we still have huge steps to make; this is where you, college students, will play an integral role.
Don’t be complacent. It is very easy to believe your voice won’t make a difference. If you go through your college career with that mentality, then you won’t make a difference. I’m not telling you to go on a crusade against premarital sex and underage drinking on college campuses, but if you feel strongly about those particular issues, go for it. That’s the beauty of not being complacent. You can tackle and address whatever issue you see fit.
A student speaks up about a professor and his unprofessional behavior, even though he felt threatened by a department chair; the unprofessional professor is no longer teaching at Murray State. Students see a town, less than four hours away from their college, thrust into the national spotlight because of social unrest; students hold a peaceful demonstration, knowing they’d face criticism by some, to bring awareness to a situation many feel is played out too often.
Those are a just two of the brave, non-complacent acts I’ve seen come from Murray State students in the past few weeks. I hope to see more as the school year progresses.
Letter from Cornelius Hocker, graduate student from Greenville, KY