HORU February 15, 2016
In response to the visit from journalist Milo Yiannopoulos last week, junior Monica Torres, among others, has spoken out about the event, the protest, and about her story of being an activist here on campus.
(1/2) "As a Dominican, Puerto Rican and Chinese student, I've found it important to explore the cultural centers here at Rutgers and to look at these different parts of my identity. It's important to do your research, to be active on campus and to look at how people are represented because believe it or not, people are valued differently, and it shouldn't be like that when we're all human beings. The purpose of organizing the protest last week was to address the speaker and his really hateful ideology. That negativity can manifest into very physical, very hateful and violent things. And on February 8th, the day before the protest, a Black Lives Matter activist and leader committed suicide. His death must be viewed in the context of injustice and our current racial climate. I don't think people really understand just how real this is. And while for some people, the speaker was fun and entertaining, these are people's livelihoods, and that's a very serious matter. This protest wasn't just a Black Lives Matter movement. It was students getting together and saying 'We're not going to stand for this hateful ideology.' And it's difficult. Do you just do nothing and let it slide? Or do you address it and make a statement as a state school, as a diverse community, and as someone who believes many cultures and people here are left underappreciated and falsely represented? Are we going to stand for this? And the answer is no, we're not going to stand for hateful ideology and BLM being compared to the KKK. Or hearing that rape culture doesn't actually exist when we know for a fact that it does. You can't even argue with ideology like that. How do you engage? The seven of us that covered our faces in paint that night, we did it as a peaceful protest, as a very visual performance, channeling that pain and having a very visceral reaction, so that we could keep working to create change."
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