United March to Akers

“United we stand, divided we shall fall” rang through the night as people of all races gathered together to march on Michigan State University’s campus to combat racism.

In recent weeks, acts of racism have dominated the campus. The “N-word” was written on a female student’s door in Akers Hall and another student found a black doll with a makeshift noose hanging from the ceiling of a classroom in the Biomedical building.

Executive board member of the Black Student Alliance Jasmine Fountain also recalled an incident where a group of four white students repeatedly shouted the “N-word” to a black student as he was walking toward Akers Hall.

The March began in Brody Square and moved toward Grand River. It ended at the heart of where the racial tension took place: Akers Hall.

The Marchers were silent for the duration of the walk, however, that did not stop cars from driving by and honking to show their support.

“It makes my heart proud to see what’s happening,” said Joel Ruffin, a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. “It’s about the action, and I believe that today we showed action through our purpose and our passion.”

The March, resembling that of The March on Washington or The Million Man March, was a powerful move by those involved. The marchers held signs that said, “Stop the Racism at MSU,” and “The Hatred Stops Now.” In addition to the signs, protesters held hands to show solidarity.

“The march was great but we also need to get the black Board of Trustee members involved to truly make a difference,” said Jasmine Haynes, a student at MSU.

Once the demonstrators reached Akers Hall, several students stood before the crowd of over 100 students and spoke, including BSA president Mario Lemons, BSA members Jasmine Fountain and Kenya Abbott, Winnie Imbuchi of the African Student Union, and Evans Scholar Brandon Allen.

The message from all of the speakers was that this is not just a Black issue; people of all races, sexual orientations and religions share it.

“Let’s get to work, ‘cause we have a lot of work to do,” said senior Brandon Allen.

By Ashiyr Pierson

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