Over the course of the past two-and-a-half weeks, a series of violent and saddening events have shaken the world and inundated news and social media feeds alike. From acts of racism and violence on college campuses like Yale and Mizzou, to the appallingly ruthless terror attacks in Paris, Beirut, Baghdad, and Garissa, the world seemed a little less safe this week, including Swarthmore’s campus. However, the student activism and allyship that has occurred in spite of these atrocities has made things seem just a little bit brighter in this dark time, and the Phoenix applauds the members of the community who chose to stand up and act in the face of injustice.
We must praise the rapid response of student and administrative leaders of the Black Cultural Center after the news of racial injustice at Yale and Mizzou broke. The organization of the “Solidarity: Swarthmore Stands with Mizzou” event was almost entirely a product of student leaders’ desire to act in light of these events. The creation of this event, along with the high levels of attendance by faculty, staff, and student allies, illuminates the sense of community that the college often discusses in Admissions materials but becomes much harder to pinpoint in the day-to-day life of Swarthmore.
In a similar vein, the organization of a candlelight vigil sponsored by the i20 club in response to the victims of terror attacks in Paris, Beirut, and Baghdad speaks to the thoughtfulness and wider empathy that oftentimes gets lost in the hustle and bustle of academic and extracurricular commitments at this time of year.
While it is easy to dismiss these demonstrations of solidarity and support as cursory at best and insincere at their worst, the Phoenix applauds the amount of support that community members are able to show during these troubling times. There will always be more work to do, or something else that could have been done in response to these tragedies, and it is right to call on members of the community to do as much as they can to support those affected by these events. However, it is also necessary to appreciate the time that people are taking by participating in these shows of solidarity and sympathy.