This past Monday, over 1,200 students gathered on Yale University’s campus to protest the marginalization of students of color in a March of Resilience. Last week, the black players on the football team at the University of Missouri refused to play any more games and a graduate student went on a hunger strike for eight days, holding the university’s president and chancellor accountable for allowing many racially charged incidents to go unacknowledged. These demonstrations are just a few of several recent examples of students of color at predominantly white institutions standing up against the injustices they face each day.
We are inspired by the strength and bravery demonstrated by these students, and we hope that the Andover community can learn from the success of these protests. There is undeniable power in standing up and taking action, and we urge students and faculty members alike to follow in the footsteps of those who refuse to remain silent any longer.
At Andover, we applaud ourselves on being socially aware, but we often fail to acknowledge the ways institutionalized racism affects students of color on our campus. Institutionalized racism can manifest itself in microaggressions and other subtle acts of racism that are undeniably harmful to the Andover community. As we witness the events transpiring at colleges and universities across the country, we must also cast our eye inward and scrutinize the way norms and systems marginalize students of color at Andover.
While not perfect, Andover does provide more spaces than many schools do for learning about and discussing race, among other issues. But, as demonstrated by the recent events nationwide, it is not enough. These conversations should be happening every day – in classes, in dorms, among students and faculty members. Andover should offer even more frequent and widespread opportunities for all students to engage in guided, constructive conversations about topics of race. As a community, we must address these issues before they reach a boiling point. We should not and cannot ignore the experiences of our students of color.
This editorial represents the views of The Phillipian Editorial Board CXXXVIII.