OPINION: Hate has no home here

Published 8:00 am Saturday, June 13, 2020

The events of the last three weeks have served as a time of reflection and reform for people in the LOU Community and beyond. 

As more tragedies take place, and as more marginalized populations find their voice, a sense of unity has emerged. Peaceful protests and marches held on the Square and on the University of Mississippi campus have made one thing clear: Racism and hatred have no home in our community. 

That’s what we’ve tried to focus on since the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, to name a few: Capturing the reactions of our community and telling the stories of those most affected by these senseless acts.  

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While our community has a storied past, and we often find ourselves grappling with the implications of the events of yesteryear, Mississippians must actively work to avoid the repetition of history.  

Mississippi’s people of color, especially its black population, have for centuries given literal blood, sweat and tears to the soil of this state. The creativity of this people, borne from suffering and strife, brought forth the first truly American form of music, the Blues. Mississippi-grown black athletes have gone on to win Super Bowls, set world records. Mississippi’s black inventors, its doctors, have paved the way for innovation beyond our wildest dreams. For all these things and more, we celebrate them. But that’s not enough.  

One of the strongest messages of this movement is that the black population in America is tired. Tired of being profiled, tired of living in fear, tired of being told their value comes from what they have to give – be it a talent, a skill or their own lives to a cause. Tired of being tokenized. Tired of being killed at the hands of those who are sworn to “protect and serve.” 

We hear your cries: you are valuable and worthy, regardless of what you have to give. Just as George Floyd was, as Ahmaud Arbery was, as Breonna Taylor was, as Emmett Till was, as Dominique Clayton was and as Elwood Higginbottom was.  

This is a continuous journey, one that will go on long after the last protester hangs up their picket sign. However, it’s a journey we are proud to document, and one that will stand in posterity for generations to come.