At noon, the ho-hum shuffle of another Tuesday afternoon was interrupted with a jarring burst of voices. They echoed from the Cal State Fullerton quad in front of the Humanities and Social Sciences building. A noose was throw over a tree branch and dropped in the dirt. Today students from across L.A. and Orange County had a lynching. A lynching of intolerance.
A stuffed effigy riddled with hateful slogans was held swinging from a noose in the background of a protest at CSUF's anti-hate rally. A coalition of African American student activist groups from all over southern California, including CSUF, made their voices heard at the rally, which was held in response to the recent trend of nooses being hung from trees on college campuses nationwide.
One of those campuses was CSUF. Last semester, five spray-painted orange nooses were left dangling from a clothesline in the quad following the events of the Jena 6 case in Louisiana.
Today's rally was a passionate display of student involvement that included educated speeches from CSUF and Cal State L.A. as well as some poetry and song that pulled people in to listen.
Whether or not people agreed with the protest, it was the kind of event that colleges and universities were made for and should thrive on. It's a shame that college students, myself included, can get so wrapped up in the trappings of trying to get ahead or jumping through academic hoops that we forget to poke our heads up and look around at our society. I was pleased to see that some students unaware of what was going on looked uneasy, as though they were waiting for some kind of bomb to explode. That's exactly what we need: a few uncomfortable pokes at our consciousness that challenge us to re-examine our ideas about the acceptance of racism against any culture in our Orange County bubble.
Active Students for African People was one of the primary catalyst organizations that got the event planned, with the help of student activists and organizers from CSUF, CSULA, UCLA, CSUN, Trade Tech, El Camino City College and Pasadena City College.
Photo Credit: Los Angeles Times