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Black Student Union presentation offers chance for voices to be heard

Photo by Matthew Montes ’15 | Chris Hubbard ’15 addresses students and faculty Dec. 8 during a special meeting of the Black Student Union. Students from Brophy’s Black Student Union hosted a discussion at lunch in the Great Hall about current issues related to police violence and minorities.

By Anthony Cardellini ’17 & Joseph Valencia ’17

In the midst of swirling voices surrounding the tragedies in Ferguson, MO and New York City, the Black Student Union’s Dec. 12 Great Hall presentation saw students freely expressing their opinions.

Mr. Ryan Hubbell discussed the facts from the cases of Michael Brown and Eric Gardner, two African American men who recently died after altercations with the police. In both cases, a grand jury did not indict the police officers involved.

The next half hour included a speech from Chris Hubbard ’15, where he outlined a story about a police officer flashing his gun when Hubbard and the officer made eye contact.

Mr. Tony Fuller said that “the situation is like a three headed monster” with one head representing the problem, one the solution and one the bridge between the two. He said that the problem is “decisions are being made behind closed doors.”

Mr. Fuller said he thinks that the bridge can be represented in a question: how can people of power allow those they don’t like to sit at their table?

Ceshon West ’17 responded by saying that the problem isn’t race, but the killing of unarmed men, and that officers should better be able to distinguish right from wrong.

Fidel Trujillo, a 7th grade Loyola Scholar, said that we live in a system that doesn’t allow people to fend for themselves.

“We’re in a system where we can’t stand up for ourselves. If you do try to stand up for yourself, you do get hurt or killed,” he said.

Joshua Benjamin ’16 said that he agreed that something wasn’t right, but said that respect and submission had to be used when dealing with officers. He said because you never know when a police officer may become violent, you can’t give him any reason too.

Trujillo said that with a large enough group of people, change is possible without resorting to submission.

“We need large groups to make a change. Not just one or two people,” he said.

Tosin Babarinde ’16 spoke about his uncle, who he said was pulled over by a police officer and was racially profiled.

“My uncle was pulled over,” he said. “When he was reaching for his wallet, the officer, who was white, thought he was reaching for a gun. He shot him two times, once in the back and once in the back of the head, which killed him.”

“For some odd reason, nothing happened to the officer who shot my uncle,” he added.

Mr. Tim Broyles talked about a letter from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther Jr., which said that King was fighting two extremes in his battle for justice: one that did nothing, and one that was extremely violent.

Mr. Broyles said the answer to this was “creating communities of dialogue,” an idea from the Rev. Adolpho Nicolás, S.J., superior of the Jesuits.

He said that at Brophy we have the ability to do this successfully because of our Jesuit presence and diversity.

Check here for more photos from the meeting: