"We have done so many things wrong," writes The Daily Tar Heel's Editor-in-Chief Anna Pogarcic. "As a predominantly white newsroom, we have failed to recruit and retain staffers of color. We do not look like the communities we serve, both on UNC’s campus and in the town of Chapel Hill, and as a result, we lack their trust. This is completely justified."
"I am not the type of person who generally makes public statements about the things I think and feel, but I do listen. I listened as other BIPOC journalism students explained their reasons to distrust writing for The Daily Tar Heel, and when other groups also expressed disillusion with how the DTH has handled covering minority communities."
"I’m honored to serve as The Daily Tar Heel’s opinion editor for the 2020-21 year. To me, the opinion page is the heart of the community, a place where we can have important discussions about issues relevant to UNC and the larger Chapel Hill population. These conversations, however difficult they may be, are critical as we determine how to move forward as a desk, as a newsroom and as a community."
"One of the more questionable decisions made by the UNC administration in recent weeks was the choice to not require COVID-19 testing for students upon return to campus under the premise that it 'could create a false sense of security.'"
"The next time you see someone dressed up as a chief with a headdress and painted skin at a Kansas City Chiefs game, or doing the Tomahawk chop at a Braves game, ask yourself: is it OK to use that imagery and represent Native Americans the way we do, despite their demonstrated anger at those stereotypes and the tragedies they suffered as a result of American colonialism and expansion?"
"Those who will be most affected by UNC reopening this fall are those who have already risked so much to make campus safe and just for everyone. It is wrong for the most protected workers to risk the least and the least protected workers to risk the most."
"For years, the University has swept sexual violence under the rug while making empty promises to confront the issue. UNC has the opportunity to break the pattern of institutional betrayal and do right by their students. It is time for accountability, transparency and urgency of action to be prioritized in order to dismantle Carolina’s culture of sexual assault."
While UNC’s administration paints all-online instruction as a radical and unrealistic measure, here are five reasons why I, a UNC graduate student worker, think this is in fact a more-than-reasonable, actually necessary, option.
"We must adjust our 'diversity' initiatives to take this important distinction into account, because recent descendants do not have to face the same generational trauma that long-standing descendants experience every day. All Black people experience racism in America, but descendants of recent African immigrants may not always face the systemic injustice long-standing descendants do."
What Chancellor Guskiewicz and the administration fail to realize is that UNC is certainly not the University of the people — and it never has been, not even a little bit. But this is not news. Students and activists have been sounding the alarm for decades. Every time, the University has been indifferent.
"In honor of those who came before us, and for the sake of those who will come after us, we, being unapologetically people of color, commit to sustaining the fight until justice is achieved."
"As a longtime University employee in Facilities Services, I have zero confidence in the University’s capability or willingness to do what is needed to keep workers safe from COVID-19."
If you claim to not be racist because you have Black friends, it is time to show it. If you claim to support diversity and inclusion, it is time to show it. If you claim to be against white supremacy, now is the time to show it. If you are not willing to put actions behind your words, please stop talking. Black Americans are tired of hearing it.
"A gradual defunding of the police department paired with investments in expansive social services will make our town safer, healthier and more equal. If the Town Council decides to not pursue this plan of action, it is only perpetuating the conditions of injustice that have characterized our nation from the very start."
"I started writing this column early last week, with renewed hope that this culture of online performativity could have positive results. A few days ago, however, I woke up to the Blackout Tuesday trend on Instagram and felt like we’d all taken a step back."
"Black Americans endure racial discrimination, microaggressions and antagonization from nearly every American institution. It’s visible in the disproportionate incarceration rates, unemployment statistics and home ownership demographics. Unsurprisingly, this disparity appears, too, in one of the systems most vital to public safety — health care."
The Editorial Board stands in solidarity with protesters in Minneapolis and across America.