Disclaimer: This article conveys the thoughts and observations of myself, the writer, and does not reflect the views of the Communications Department or University of Puget Sound.
When the news broke last Monday that the grand jury decided that there was NOT probable cause to indict someone, Darren Wilson, for a crime (of shooting and killing of Michael Brown), our campus was not silent. As many of the nation, our students spoke out on social media about our confusion, sadness, anger, and wealth of emotions we felt. And the welcoming and interest in the ethics of justice, equality, safety and security arose from this incident in our community is so good to see. UPS students care and we want to make it known our feelings and are taking steps to help each other be educated and act on our beliefs.
While I know that the grand jury did not and cannot judge if Michael Brown deserves justice and could only sift through all the evidence and testimonies to determine if there is probably cause to to indict someone to a crime, which the grand jury decided there was not. This doesn’t mean that other actions can’t be taken, another grand jury could be called to reconvene or a federal criminal trial could be brought on the charges of Darren Wilson violating Michael Brown’s constitutional rights. I think it’s hard to know what actually happened on that fateful day but one thing I think is clear, all people matter. Every American deserves the opportunity towards their American Dream to be treated with respect and prove their worth before being judged based on their appearance alone, and for that reason I #wishforjustice and believe #blacklivesmatter.
On December 1, 2014 one week after the grand jury announced there will be no indictment of Darren Wilson for the shooting of Michael Brown, the students, faculty and staff of the University of Puget Sound wore black to signify our commitment to dismantling institutional racism in our country. We stand together in solidarity as we mourn the death of Michael Brown and demonstrate our frustration with the recent grand jury decision. The UPS Black Student Union has committed to a series of peaceful protests to ensure that we continue the conversation on the implications that this tragedy has on our campus, community, and country. Please join this act of solidarity wherever you are located and whoever you are.
-Black Student Union, Black Out Event description shared on Facebook