For those wondering why we are not supporting the protest planned for June 6th, 2020:
It is another example of NC State organizations ignoring the same people they claim they supported. The organizers of this “peaceful” protest claimed they wanted to uplift and support Black voices and the Black community — without including a single Black person in the organizing process.
To add insult to injury, they decided to reach out to Black campus leaders (less than 24 hours before the protest) after they had already established what they wanted to happen. During a meeting with Black campus leaders, they took notes and pretended to listen to our concerns. Black leaders were deeply concerned with their active collaboration with the police, inviting the Chancellor to speak, and inviting Saige Martin to speak/attend. Saige Martin is a Raleigh council member who received funding and support from the Southern States Police Benevolent Association PAC during his campaign.
The organizers listened to only one of our multiple requests — not giving Chancellor Woodson a platform to speak at the protest. We did not want the protest to serve as a photo opportunity or a way for him or NC State to gain good PR.
On the other hand, they blatantly ignored our other requests. Additionally, they invited us to join a call to discuss our concerns — with the Daniel House, Jr., the chief of campus police. During the call, Black campus leaders repeatedly expressed their concerns to only be met with empty apologies. Whether we liked it or not, they had a plan for their protest: a plan that did not include nor care about the voices they were claiming to uplift.
When Black campus leaders refused to settle, they quickly resorted to postponing the protest and suggesting that we take over the planning process.
We would like to acknowledge that this is not the fault of SG or any other campus organization who aided in the promotion of this protest. When we received the information, we were not told the full story. We were sent a flyer and utilized our platforms for what they are created to do: promote and uplift student voices. But, it is our responsibility to correct and inform you all about what is going on.
Please do not “deeply apologize.” Do not say that this is “an oversight.” Do not try to pass the burden of planning the event. Why should we carry the burden of planning something we never asked for in the first place?
Our lives aren’t for your aesthetic. Our problems are not an oversight. Our problems are not “learning experiences.” We are real people with real feelings and real concerns. If our lives really matter to you, you should listen to our voices. Listen to our cries. Do not speak over us. Do not sweep our concerns under the rug. Do not claim that you are speaking on our behalf when you are not even aware of what we need or what we want.
You cannot claim to be uplifting Black voices without including a SINGLE Black person in the organizing process.
We are exhausted. Do better.
Our lives are not a learning experience.
UPDATE: They canceled the protest.