#BlackLivesMatter at Texas State
Posted by Hanna Foster
March 29, 2016
On Monday, #BlackLivesMatter co-founder, Opal Tometi, spoke to students at Texas State University. Tometi, a keynote speaker for a series of talks Texas State University is hosting about diversity, spoke about her experience as a social justice advocate and activist.
The event took place in the LBJ Ballroom on campus. The ballroom was filled with students and the event certainly yielded a good turn out.
Tometi spoke about the systemic hurdles that our society, and countless others, have put in place, making it more difficult to attain true equality. She addressed institutionalized racism and global capitalism, two of the biggest factors keeping us from becoming a more just and equal society.
Tometi then began her call to action. She stressed the importance of acting when we see racial and social injustices. We can’t just sit by while these things are happening, we must enact change. We have to hold ourselves accountable; we can’t just say “Black Lives Matter;” we have to make it true, and we have to protect it.
Prior to the event, a conservative white student voiced his concerns about having Tometi speak at Texas State via Facebook and fliers around campus. He claimed that the movement was a “violent hate group” and asserted that the organization “kills innocent cops.” CLEARLY, this poor, lost soul doesn’t understand the magic of the world wide web, because a simple Google search of “Black Lives Matter” would have proven both of his ridiculous claims incorrect.
In the fliers that this student spread on campus, he was expressed a call to action, claiming that he wanted to join forces with other conservative students on campus to protest this event. Yet, when 3 o’clock rolled around on Monday afternoon, there was no protest in sight.
However, Texas State students were prepared to fight back and protect students planning to attend the event. Supporters shared a Google Doc around Facebook, getting students to sign up for available times to stand outside of the ballroom and create a barrier between potential protesters and students of color attending the event. Luckily, none of that was necessary, but students were ready to do what was needed to protect their peers.
As Opal Tometi said at the end of her speech, “Justice is not inevitable. It doesn’t just happen. People have to make it so.”