White Lives Matter protest unites minorities

Khadija Saifullah

During the unveiling ceremony for the new African American History Memorial at the Capitol, a neo-Nazi, white supremacist protest broke out, coincidentally scheduled to disrupt the ceremony. It was met later in the day with a counter-protest by the Black Lives Matter movement.

The oppositional nature — the unveiling ceremony of a memorial to progress in Texas versus the borderline violent protests — strikes a contrast straight out of the past that has become all too familiar lately. This year has, in so many ways, been resembling the Civil War era a century ago. The country is more divided than it’s been in decades.

Emotions have run high and interfered with the professional and personal aspects of our lives, leaving many of us watching our country slowly spiral down into disunity.

Racism and white supremacy are the root causes of the protest, and both stem from two groups of people fearing losing their rights.

“At the protest, I felt like minority groups acted as one voice,” rhetoric and writing sophomore Humza Ahmed said. “Before, groups would fight individually; however, now, they act as a single unit with members from various ethnic, racial, sexual backgrounds chant for each other. America isn’t being divided, minority groups are just uniting under a common fear of being oppressed. The White Lives Matter demonstrators didn’t have the benefit of other groups vouching for them, it has like twenty-five against over a hundred counter-protesters. The [WLM] movement didn’t seen to have a goal or objective other than attempting to instigate conflict. When you get down to the actual points, it’s nothing more than white supremacy.”

The fact of the matter is that African-Americans have played an undeniable and integral role in the progression of our country. Time and time again, every decade brings them a new adversity as they move inches closer to equality. From Rosa Parks to Trayvon Martin, progression has been made, but challenges still remain.

When African-American students request the Confederate statues around campus to be removed and the Robert Lee Moore Hall building to be renamed, there should not be a need for petitions to spread around the internet for their voices to be heard. From incidents such as the racist bake sale in the West Mall a couple of weeks ago to the protests on Saturday, minority students on campus still face discrimination and feel the pinch of racism in their lives.

After the election of Donald Trump, what gives these recent protests their power is the way minority groups have banded together — the unity is stronger now than before. Minority groups are now demonstrating to America louder than ever that they have a single, powerful voice now.

Saifullah is a neuroscience junior from Richardson.