When the university forces students into a silent corner – it exercises power, not freedom.
When Western culture continues to dominate our education – it extends its power, not freedom.
When racist individuals join forces with racist institutions – they benefit from power, not freedom.
When diversity is showcased by those who still dictate the same rules – this demonstrates power, not freedom.
When professors are vilified and fired – this is the familiar face of power, not freedom.
When administrative staff and maintenance workers are ignored and overworked – they are the recipients of power, not freedom.
When the president of a U.S. institution of higher learning (“America at its best”) “criticizes” the president of a country targeted for the next war – he inflicts power, not freedom.
When corporations destroy the lives of individuals and communities – they practice power, not freedom.
When Columbia expands, and the community is told to move on – this is the doing of power, not freedom.
The tradition of the oppressed teaches us that power knows nothing of freedom, nor can it claim it for itself. Power is not freedom. Power is power.
And truth must be spoken to power.
Thank you for striking for all of us, and for speaking truth to power.
Department of Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures