Eight individuals were murdered in cold blood in Atlanta on Tuesday. These atrocities, racially motivated or not, are incredibly disheartening, humiliating and demoralizing to an extent that words cannot convey. The executive team here at the Old Gold & Black would like to extend our deepest condolences toward the victims of these heinous crimes, and to the families who were expecting their loved ones to return home Tuesday night.
Seven women and one man lost their lives in the senseless spree. Once again, our headlines are populated with accounts of gun violence and bigotry. Now, we ask, how did this predicament arise? How have we ended up here? How can we rebuild?
Community, inherently, is fragile. Trust and confidence, which take years to develop, can be shattered in mere seconds. We saw such on Tuesday.
While the crimes perpetrated occurred in Atlanta, we must consider how they affect our Wake Forest community. How can we ensure that Asian and Asian-American students at our university feel safe and welcomed in light of recent events? What steps can we take to provide these students with the assurance that they belong here, just as much as their Black, brown and white peers do?
To rebuild, we rely. We rely on our classmates to hear our stories, to empathize with our shared experiences. We rely on our professors to understand our situation, to discuss ways in which we can improve. We rely on our administrators to provide the platforms necessary for communication, to allow us time to mourn, to heal.
We rely on each other, because at the end of the day all we have is each other. If we cannot rely on each other and trust our friends to carry us forward when we cannot carry ourselves, then who can we lean on?
We also rely on structural change. Change that comes from the federal and state level that will prevent such a tragedy from ever occurring again. Change that comes in the form of education, gun control and police reform.
And, while change takes time, we cannot wait one moment longer to take action ourselves. If not us, then who? If not now, then when?