James A. Baldwin’s quote: “To be a negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage all the time” is the most relatable and accurate quote that people of color can identify with today. Being a person of color in America has always been difficult, but in this day and age it seems to hurt a lot more. Mentally, socially and economically we are still in chains. We can’t drive peacefully without fear of being pulled over by a racist and corrupt cop. We can’t walk into a store without the fear of being targeted as an assumed thief. Even in an institution of higher learning, we are still just “n**%s” to individuals who are afraid, immature and ignorant.
Why does our skin color offend you so much?
It’s 2017 and white supremacists are still allowed to openly taunt people with no repercussions. Therefore, we must stand together as a community to fight against hate and racism. There is no reason why a student, or anyone should walk around in fear simply because of their race. Framingham State’s Alumni of Color Network, currently made up of over 200 graduates of color, stands in solidarity with all students of color – past and present.
We wish to express our support to members of Black Student Union, an organization that has served as a refuge to many students of color on campus. These current acts of hate against people of color at the University serve as a painful reminder that we are racially targeted and that many things have not changed.
Why should our community spend energy to defend itself in a predominantly white institution?
It’s anxiety provoking, saddening and scary for any student of color to have to focus their energy on hatred and feeling unsafe, rather than enjoying the experience of getting a college education. Moving forward, the Alumni of Color ask for a transparent and effective investigation that will lead to justice. If you are a student, we ask that if you saw or heard something, to say something.
It is also imperative that we continue conversations to educate, empower and uplift one another. We hope that faculty and staff are also open to having these difficult conversations. After all, students at FSU have one goal in common – to learn, be successful and graduate and they cannot do it alone. Our school community should be doing more to speak against racist behavior and provide support for victims of this hatred.
We must work to protect and respect all people, and that starts with coming together as ONE. We wish for a loyal community that stands against hatred, bigotry and injustice.
Cassandra Teneus ‘17
Patricia Sanchez-Connally ‘01
Carmen Allen ‘01
Fernando Rodriguez ‘16
Jean Connally ‘02
Representatives of FSU’s Alumni of Color Network