Hannah RamirezComment

UNCC // A March in Solidarity Against Racial Injustice and Police Brutality

Hannah RamirezComment
UNCC // A March in Solidarity Against Racial Injustice and Police Brutality

As you have likely heard, Charlotte was home of the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott last Tuesday. This was another instance of a black man shot and killed by police, and a fight for truth and justice has followed. The event is still under investigation, yet the community has not paused to speak out.

This all began less than a mile away from UNC Charlotte’s main campus. It seems so strange to me now to realize that the only thought I had put into the idea of a man with a gun as a college student in Charlotte was that I should fear for my own safety if someone were to terrorize our campus. I never put thought into the guns at the side of our law enforcement officers. School shootings were something I could imagine as a student- something I could fear. In all honesty, an unjust police shooting impacting my community was not something I had thought about very much. I am a white girl who doesn’t even resemble the mixed ethnicity I have in my blood through my Mexican father. Racial intolerance hadn’t presented itself to me in any ways but through the media and I know I had never found an emotional tie to the concept because of this. As an individual- as Hannah- I am learning. I confess that I have failed to educate myself more on the feelings of the oppressed in our country. I could not relate to the victims- I have always had a strong feeling of support from law enforcement, and I have never found myself fearful of an officer. I have never been in a situation where I feared that the color of my skin would change the way someone treated me. I never felt victimized, and as a result, I never reached out.

However, the events which have occurred in Charlotte have been able to make me look at the entire situation with new eyes. I am a part of a new community, and I have made friends with people of every color from so many different parts of the world. Every person I have met has been unique for reasons that go deeper than skin. As a college student I recognize that we are all on this campus for a reason. As individuals we are seeking to educate and better ourselves. As a college we are growing a new crowd of people to fight for a better society. Today I watched my college do exactly that, and I learned a lot about my peers and myself in the process.

Students on campus organized a peaceful march on campus at noon. Joined by faculty, staff, and members of the community, our campus police made a safe route for us to make a statement- to "march in solidarity against racial injustice and police brutality.” At first there were about fifty of us in front of the union. Then there were a hundred. By the time we started marching, I felt like half of the school was out there. It was an incredible feeling to watch people of every color stand together to speak out.

This march was something I am glad I took the time to witness and be a part of. I listened closely and kept my hands busy snapping photos left and right. I felt incredibly safe with this crowd. I watched as hundreds of strangers came together as one people, and I wanted to take this time to capture what they were saying through photographs. 

I am sad to know that we had a reason to march today. I am hurting for those around me who live with fearfulness. I am hopeful for a better future. I am proud of Charlotte.

 

There are many reasons why I am grateful to be a student on a diverse campus within a city. Today I am grateful for the opportunity I had to be present and learn something that cannot be taught within these classrooms. 

Today, I am grateful for the community of UNC Charlotte.


(c) 2016 Hannah Ramirez Photography