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Athlete of the Week: Michael Brown ’21

in Athlete of the Week/Sports by

Golfer and first-year phenom Michael Brown ’21 has made a historic impact on the Garnet in his debut season so far. Hailing from Reading, Conn., Brown finished first overall Sept. 10 at the Swarthmore-Neumann Invitational in a field of 82 competitors, shooting a 68 overall, one stroke off the Swarthmore program record. He was named Centennial Conference Golfer of the Week for his performance in the tournament and has continued to impress in both the Harrisburg Invitational and the Montgomery Cup in the weeks following. The Garnet return to action on Sept. 30 at the McDaniel Mason-Dixon Invitational.

Ping Promrat: How has the adjustment to college been for you, both academically and athletically?

Michael Brown: In terms of academics, Swarthmore is definitely a step up for me, as there is a lot more time management involved in balancing aspects of college life. I think I’ve adjusted well athletically, and it is a lot of what I expected coming in. The tournament atmosphere is very similar to what I had in high school and the tournaments I played in over the summer.

PP: What is your intended major, and what interests you about it?

MB: I’m currently undecided. That being said, I’m much more of a natural sciences kind of person, so I’m thinking about a potential environmental studies major. I also really like my Introduction to Economics class, too, so I’ll see where my interests take me.

PP: What has been your favorite part about collegiate athletics so far?

MB: I’d say bonding with the guys on the team. We’ve travelled together for multiple tournaments so far on the weekends, and I’ve had a great time with them so far. Also, it’s been great to see where my game stacks up on the collegiate level, as the field of competitors is much stronger than in high school.

PP: What are your athletic goals for the fall season?

MB: Hopefully to win as many tournaments as possible as a team. Personally, I want to stick to my routine of practicing with the team along with working out on my own. We have a great hitting net right by Mertz Field, so I plan to keep working on my swing daily, and making sure that every piece of my game is at its best for the upcoming tournaments.

 

Our community responsibility in the wake of Ferguson

in Op-Eds/Opinions by

On Saturday, August 9, Michael Brown, a young African American teenager was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. While walking down a street from his apartment to his grandmother’s house at 2:15 in the afternoon, Brown encountered a police officer who accused him of robbing a department store. As a result of the encounter, the police officer shot Brown six times. Brown died on the scene right after being shot.

Soon after the shooting followed a storm of media coverage and large protests. Unfortunately, certain media outlets — primarily television broadcasts — also portrayed Brown as a thief by releasing footage in which Brown appears to be stealing from a department store. The issue here is using trivial acts to justify killing him. Michael Brown is no longer a victim, but a delinquent in the eyes of the media. Yet, it is our responsibility, as a Swarthmore community, not to be limited by media coverage and to be able to see beyond the status quo.

In the case of Ferguson, media outlets have shaped the image of someone who was murdered. Further, those outlets are implicitly promoting racial prejudice by using pictures of Brown that distract viewers into thinking that Brown lacked dignity and deserved to die. These are systemic issues — invisible, and so entrenched in the fabric of our lives that it is very difficult to imagine life without them.

We find this morally detestable. The very cause of Michael Brown’s death — racial profiling and prejudice — has been exploited again to justify a manifest infringement on the rights of a young black teenager. Brown was killed in his own community by someone whose job was to protect and serve him. And the social significance of his death has been made invisible by the media, whose actual job should have been to make sure that our nation expresses remorse toward such tragedy and make collective efforts to prevent such racial oppression from happening again.

By definition, the word “community” implies that every member of a group takes on the responsibility of assuring the well-being of all its members. Recent events have shown that people of color have been forced to acquiesce to institutions set up to provide them with a false sense of security in this country. It is often the case that communities imbued with high crime rates fear police officers, who often promote abject terror in the hearts of people of color. Racially-motivated police brutality is a reality that, as national community, we must acknowledge. As Swarthmore students, it is our job to acknowledge and fulfill our role as supporters of all people of color in the fight against racial discrimination in all its forms. Thus, to fulfill this responsibility, a campus-wide remembrance event in front of Sharples, specifically on Friday, September 26. The event will consist of both a march and a vigil, where the community will be given the opportunity to reflect on the issue of racial discrimination and police brutality in the United States. It is crucial that we, as a community, play an active role in the fight against injustice. This event is merely a step towards playing that role.

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