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First, let me say I have not thoroughly reviewed the circumstances regarding the “Dear white Hornets” incident. However, I applaud the efforts to bring student issues to light. What I have heard from some students is that the shirt was created in response to taunts and negative comments from students on social media. Furthermore, the silent protest had nothing to do with the loss of traditions. However, whatever the circumstances the student exercised her first amendment rights. Our first amendment in the Constitution guarantees the right to free speech. As I’m sure you have witnessed, with the Colin Kaepernick protest free speech does not come without a price. Free speech also comes with responsibility.

I saw the posts.

My first question is before the action of “Dear white Hornets” was the administration informed of the issues? Secondly, were attempts made to resolve the matter prior to the silent protest? As I mentioned, free speech has a responsibility. If you look at any successful protest movement it started with an attempt to resolve the matter. When government officials refused to hear the demand of students in Birmingham, Nashville, and other cities around the nation seeking to simply eat at lunch counters or have equal access to public transportation and quality schools then we protested.

Do not believe that racism is dead. Du Bois said, on the launch of his groundbreaking 1903 treatise The Souls of Black Folk, “for the problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color-line”. This problem still exist. African Americans cannot allow others to say we are playing the race card. Mr. Kaepernick’s protest was not about race but injustice throughout a system. Is there injustice in our schools, Yes. Although our schools are intergraded is here still inequity in the academic setting, yes. Are there still feelings of supremacy and entitlement in our schools, yes.

Tuesday, September 25, would be a great day to address these issues again as we celebrate the day the Little Rock nine integrated Little Rock Central High School. Finally, This homecoming week is a time to ask all alumni “what are you coming home to?”

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One reply on “A Message From Dr. Marshall”

  1. Very well said. My daughter graduated the year you retired, Dr. Marshall. I will never forget the standing ovation and deafening accolades you received at the graduation ceremony. It gave me chills. You were very, very important to those young people. You forever influenced my “white” student in such a beautiful way. I hate to see all of this devisiveness going on in the Hive. It makes me very sad.

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