We have gathered here today to outline our demands for this administration so that it may be held accountable in improving the social and academic experiences of its black students at Princeton. There is no pride in being the number one university in the country when for its students of color and marginalized communities, Princeton very rarely leads but often follows.
The black students protesting at Yale and Mizzou aren’t threatening anyone’s freedom of speech. And the selective, sudden concern for free speech exposes the racism of those who respond to black students’ pain with complaints about political correctness.
Ideally, we would treat all tragedies the same; we would have the same emotional connection and response to human suffering no matter the context. But what if we just can’t? What if, as human beings, we are wired in a way that limits our ability to empathize with events and people separated from our own lives by geographical distance, culture, race, or anything else?
Below is a message from the Black Justice League at Princeton We are exhausted by continued violence against Black people across college campuses and are holding every campus accountable and asking fellow students to show their unity tomorrow, November 12,
Below is a letter written by the Black Justice League at Princeton to the Black students at the University of Missouri To the Black Students at Mizzou: We, Black Justice League, an activist and advocacy group of Black undergraduate students
Members of student activist groups–some that formed this year, others that existed for years be- fore–describe the ways in which they have challenged existing discourses and policies this year. Their methods are as disparate as their concerns, but taken together they represent a rediscovered conception of how to be a socially conscious and politically active Princetonian.
Seven months later, after the People’s Climate March and #blacklivesmatter march, after the die-in and divestment, we can begin to speak about a campus where apathy is giving way to awareness. Awareness is not yet action, but it is a start. The gravest mistake that we could make now would be to content ourselves with the progress that has been made–to pat each other on the back and walk off the field.
Inequality is no longer off-limits within academic economics, and economists are now willing to tackle the questions about inequality that may prove to be important to more progressive agendas.
In its embodiment of the experience of the radicalized academic-turned-policymaker, Yanis’s career exemplifies the ideal path through which young, aspiring American and European intellectuals of the left can gain real political authority: by leveraging scholarly successes in some policy-relevant field in order to ascend to positions of direct political power.
Culture and discourse can be useful fronts in political battle, but without a theory of change that includes how to take power, or at least make significant and binding demands of it, what happens on the cultural and discursive fronts guarantees nothing.