Enough talking, time for action


By | The Lumberjack Editorial Board

It should not have taken the murder of David Josiah Lawson for the City of Arcata and the HSU community to take the threats of safety to our students of color seriously.

City of Arcata, HSU, Lawson is not your only failure. For every year students of color are denied simple amenities like housing based on their skin tone, for every semester a minority student feels ostracized and forced out by the community, and for every day a minority student is afraid to walk down certain streets, the City of Arcata, and Humboldt County, and HSU have all failed.

The community has a tendency to ignore concerns deemed uncomfortable, like discussing racial tension. Sure, we talk. At HSU we have many race talks, annual social justice summits, and quarterly forums addressing racial discrimination. But talking is not enough.

The Lumberjack is calling upon HSU to institute new offices devoted to community integration and student safety within the community. It is time to act, not again wait to react.

Talking, alone, doesn’t address the problem. It does little more than create a short-term unresolved conversation about an issue that continues from one generation to the next.

Racial discrimination in our community is recorded, protested, and still left unchanged. We have been conversing for years now. It is time for HSU and the community to stop shying away from the real struggles people of color in the community face. We must call out discrimination when we witness it and make a firm stance against discrimination.

Despite eye-witness testimonials, Josiah’s killer Kyle Zoellner is not charged with a hate crime. Zoellner does not need to be crucified as a radical white supremacist, but we can at least stop ignoring the systematic racisms that corrupts police departments and communities.This was no simple assault. This was a racially motivated attack.

Too often change follows tragedy, instead of the other way around. Murder shouldn’t have been the cause that made the community pause and realize the harsh reality of living as a minority in an isolated region, low in diversity. The bubble HSU has long fought to exist in has been irrevocably popped.

*Updated 4/27/2017

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One Comment

  1. Bill W. Bill W. Saturday, May 6, 2017

    Wow, this article is very biased and libelous. The foolish statements clearly overshadow any real call for forward progress in the community. The Editorial Board has truly overstepped the boundaries of a non-profit organization, as well as exposing themselves and the University to a potential mountain of litigation. Among other things, one paragraph in your article specifically identifies one individual as the “killer”. It’s interesting that the rest of the opinion discusses discrimination against certain groups of people, yet there is no due process for other people not in the group. How will that make the world a better place for all of us?

    The only thing saving this paper is that the general public doesn’t read it very often. It’s time to pause, get some grasp of reality, and return as a more professional publication.

    While many of you are students and still finding your wings, remember that some of the people you are bad mouthing are alumni and regular contributors to the University Foundation, the Alumni Association and many other programs. I am seriously considering spending my annual scholarship contributions on postage, so other benefactors can read this opinion and fully understand your point of view.

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