Letter to the Editor: "Other" representation

Arizona Senate Bill 13-411 is a part of the justification for the “use of force and guns in crime prevention” — Arizona’s very own Stand Your Ground law. Now this may seem irrelevant to you and the Wildcat as editors, but I can tell you as a past employee in the opinions column, there is a real underrepresentation of the issues from the angles of marginalized populations such as people of color.

As a political science student I have witnessed discussions on the state of violence among young people of color, but rarely do we see accurate representation in nationwide narratives about violence AGAINST youth of color and it scares me as an African American. While the average (white-appearing) citizen can feel free to “defend” themselves against people of color the same cannot be stated vice versa with laws like these supporting the status quo.

Hear Us See Us rally was an affirmation of the Black Student Union’s diversity, struggles, and pride, and symbolic of our commitment to gaining control of the political conversations about youth of color. The rally stressed the importance of recognizing the voices of those individuals whose lives were taken by gun violence, wrongly incarcerated, illegally detained, and all “others” rendered silent and invisible in America and worldwide. Eulogies of victims by this detestable law, including examples form right here in Arizona, such as Brisenia Flores, were read by each participating BSU member on the University Main Stage.

After press releases sent to all local news media outlets, KOLD News was the extent of media coverage we as a university organization got. Students outside of the BSU hardly paused in between the gut wrenching descriptions of gun violence victims. Where was the Wildcat during this? If I am to act as a part of this student body we have got to do better in terms of representation, even the “others.”

— Maryam M. Shakir, former Daily Wildcat opinions columnist


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