I recently had a conversation about the men of color on campus with other women of color. A male professor of color was present and he was not afraid to speak his mind or hear what we had to say. We talked about how organizations such as Brothers, (which most men of color on campus are involved in) are apolitical. One of the ladies is part of La Vanguardia and she had asked the organization to collaborate with an event they were having. As advised, the brothers declined LV’s invitation to collaborate more or less for the reason of it being too “political”. Now let me stop here.
As a black or brown man in the United States you are a walking political statement. I don’t care if all of the friends you have made at Hamilton are white men and women, that does not lighten your skin or the weight of your brothers and sisters. A number of men of color on campus stay far away from campus politics and the community of color’s problems. Many of the cultural organizations are lead by women of color with minimal participation from men of color. Last years protest was lead by myself and another woman of color. Woman of color are on the front lines of a national issue that men of color are getting recognition for. One of the things that a woman of color mentioned in this conversation is the fact that women of color are “putting in the work” and men of color are getting the attention for it. When you hear about police brutality you are more than likely to hear about how it affects men of color. There is minimal coverage for women of color who experience police brutality every single day.
The Professor in this conversation was very upset because as a man of color how is he supposed to engage his students to get political. Stop being afraid about speaking up! He shared his frustration about how the classroom is where we are supposed to be getting students to WANT to speak up and be heard. Who cares if you will lose friends?
Why am I fighting for my brothers when they are not fighting for themselves? Rather, they are getting by. Doing what they need to do in order to be as invisible as possible. At cultural organization meetings, events and the protest last year many of the men of color are lacking. It makes me question if I am trying to save he who does not want to be saved on this campus. Don’t save him, he don’t want to be saved…