We, too, learn at UCSB

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As you walk through North Hall at UC Santa Barbara, you get the sense of empowerment from the murals placed up. These murals represent social change, it’s a reminder that people of color are also humans, too. We are mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters and we have as much right to be here and share this world equally. We are not the clones of the white folks, to be used as tools and have our souls ignored.

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On October 14, 1968, twelve black students decided to stand up to fight off all the “institutional and academic racism in the campus”. They wanted people to notice that they, too, learn at UC Santa Barbara, they are part of the scholar community and should not be excluded. Their plan to target the North Hall building was clever because in that same building there was computer equipment, which was UC Santa Barbara’s technological scaffold. The university had important data and records stored in that computer and the university depended on that information. Chancellor Cheadle decided to hear out the student activists because he knew it was not worth risking the damage of the computer equipment or the risk of someone getting hurt. That day was seen as a step toward embodiment of the colored and reaching equality in the campus of UC Santa Barbara. The black student activists were the rain that the garden of diversity, in the UC Santa Barbara campus, needed to grow righteous flowers and these murals are a remembrance of that.

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The murals reflect what the racial minority is capable of achieving when we stand together and speak up. However, some people do not understand that depriving someone of their freedom and equality is not acceptable, it is not a value or a mindset that an individual should carry. Recently in the month of March 2016, anonymous individuals used chalk to write comments in support of Donald Trump and emphasized his idea to deport minorities. Whoever wrote these comments had the intention to hurt people’s feelings and knew it was more affective by North and South Hall, where the interracial departments are located. Although the principles of these people never seem to end, neither will the voice of minorities ever be silenced again, because we can now see the rise in numbers of people who stand together and who are willing to fight off racism through the power of love and pride of who they are.

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