By Christopher Salazar
Fred Bolarinwa, HM ’25, speaks to a crowd of students near Harvey Mudd’s Shanahan Center about racial disparities in law enforcement and the unfair treatment of black students. Photo by Christopher Salazar.
Claremont students marched from Walker Beach to the Shanahan Center on Monday Feb. 6 in a stand of solidarity against police brutality, the death of Tyre Nichols and the mistreatment of Black students across the Claremont consortium.
In the aftermath of the events surrounding the murder of George Floyd, the Memphis police killing of 29-year-old Nichols reinvigorated discussions of abolitionism, racial disparities in law enforcement and the frustrations Black students and students of color feel regarding necessary support and change.
“No matter how many times I hear ‘let’s have conversations’— nothing happens,” Fred Bolarinwa, HM ’25, said. “I want to see change.”
Bolarinwa, speaking to the crowd of student supporters dressed mostly in all black, explained that Black students frequently fail to receive equal treatment from campus security, for example, as Black students are questioned about their student status and prompted to show their student ID while other students are not.
“Use your voice and speak for them,” Bolarinwa said.
Although student support is appreciated, the broader implications of power imbalances remain important to any and all discussions about race, government and law enforcement according to Bradley Gonmiah, HM ’23.
“No matter the color of your skin this government wasn’t built for you,” Gonmiah said. “It was built for those in power.
“I want to see more than solidarity from white people.”