I believe in public education.
I believe in the University’s mission to serve all the citizens of North Carolina and to “help solve the world’s greatest problems.”
To me, our University’s mission invites us to protest the symbols of Jim Crow and to fight against the legal limitations now threatening the UNC Center for Civil Rights.
I am a senator in the Dialectical and Philanthropic Societies here at UNC. A literary and debate society, Di Phi is the oldest student organization on campus, dating back to 1795.
I value Di Phi because it provides a forum for the free exchange of ideas. All students are welcome to exercise their freedom of speech. I joined Phi for its motto. While the motto of Di is “virtue and knowledge,” Phi added a third term: “Virtue, liberty, and knowledge.” Libertas.
This semester I serve as the historian of Di Phi. In this role, I have the honor of inviting a speaker to campus to address a topic relevant to UNC or NC history.
I invited Tom Ross, former president of the UNC system. He will speak on redistricting on Oct. 10.
As the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II has stated: “We’re in the adolescent stages of a Third Reconstruction... people are beginning to wake up... to see that something is at stake when it comes to the very heart and soul of America.”
I study history because I want to know about the past but also because it helps us realize that everything we do today is making history. It’s important not to be on the sidelines watching, just as it’s important to speak up for those who are not being heard.
I write a column for The Daily Tar Heel because opinion writers, unlike reporters, can take a side — both on the page or on McCorkle place.
As the activist Elie Wiesel said, “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”
I strive to uphold a tradition of standing up to oppression and injustice and protecting people’s freedoms.
My name is Claude Wilson: I was named after my great-grandfather who lost his leg in a German forest fighting Nazis. I believe I am obligated to live up to that legacy.
I believe in Light. I believe in Liberty.
That’s why I protest.