To everyone who said that they are ashamed or embarrassed as Brown students because of the actions of the individuals who protested, my deepest sympathies.
I would, however, like to clarify – and anyone who protested who feels misrepresented should correct me – that individuals who chose to protest did not protest as Brown students. Being students at Brown University afforded individuals the opportunity to protest, but individuals protested as individuals – individuals who have personally been criminalized, victimized, and dehumanized by Ray Kelly’s policies; individuals unwilling to stand idle while Brown University endorses said policies; individuals who realize that the “violation of one individual’s rights, is equitable to the violation of all our rights.”
So please don’t be embarrassed as Brown Students, be embarrassed as individuals.
To everyone who contends that ‘intellectual discourse’ would have been a more effective or proper approach to challenging Ray Kelly’s policies, my deepest sympathies.
I wish that the first time I, a sixth grader in Brooklyn, New York, was stopped by a police officer, it was for ‘intellectual discourse’. I wish that when my friend Kenneth was unjustly severely assaulted by Police officers four years later, he had been engaged instead in ‘intellectual discourse’. I wish we lived in a world where ‘intellectual discourse’ is always the first call of action, but we do not. Had ‘intellectual discourse’ been the course of action instead of protest, I believe Ray Kelly would still have gotten the message, but I do not believe the police officers who embody Ray Kelly’s policies would have gotten the message.
P.S. Most people who I have personally witnessed as being strong advocates for ‘dialogue’ and ‘intellectual discourse’ did not intend on attending the event. They did not intend on engaging in ‘intellectual discourse.’ Most did not even know about the event till after the protest.
By Tolulope Lawal, Contributor
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