As the University of Wisconsin Solidarity Caucus, a coalition of students representing marginalized communities and committed to resisting all forms of injustice, we stand with Eneale Pickett. And the only thing we regret is not making a video like his earlier.

You sit cross-legged in an elementary school classroom somewhere in America. You repeat: “With liberty and justice for all.” Maybe you are brown or maybe you are black or maybe you are white. Your teacher tells you that in America, everyone has a voice.

They tell you to fight for what you believe in. They tell you to use your voice as a social and political platform to inspire change.

But where are they when you’re ready for them to listen?

After releasing a line of “controversial” clothing last Tuesday, UW junior Eneale Pickett has garnered widespread attention and harsh criticism once again, not only from the UW administration, but a state senator and dissenters across the nation.

Sen. Nass criticizes UW for hosting student’s graphic videoAfter Eneale Pickett announced yesterday he was releasing a new line of clothing and a commercial, Senator Steve Nass condemned the Read…

UW student seeks to create dialogue through controversial video as campus community remains divided on methodUniversity of Wisconsin junior Eneale Pickett is no stranger to backlash. Tuesday, he released a 10-second preview of his video which Read…

But since they were unwilling to listen to demands for justice hollow into screams, then drain into cries, there was no choice but to shove it down their throats.

Pickett has only caused controversy because he created pieces of art that, for once, do not take into account a white cisgender male’s comfort nor sympathize with a white supremacist’s emotional well-being. He unapologetically spoke his truth and shared his reality without making sure it wasn’t too radical for your sleeping eyes that desperately need to get woke.

It was not for your love and admiration. It was for Michael Brown gasping in the streets, it was for the UW administration defending a noose at a Badger football game, it was for swastika graffiti on Sellery walls, the racist, “no do rags” dress code at Brats and a police force with their finger pressed firmly on the trigger when a dark-skinned person puts their hands up.

If this is a “clear threat” to people distraught by the video, then we hope you understand that black and brown bodies experience threat as a regular component of their lives every day.

UW student prepares to release latest clothing line confronting police brutality, racismAfter creating a national uproar over his controversial “All White People Are Racist” hoodie, University of Wisconsin junior Eneale Pickett Read…

If you can vote for a president that is racist, sexist, homophobic, a white supremacist and a rapist to run the country we live in — the country that black bodies built — Pickett has every right to create a video that forces you to reevaluate the work you do to contribute to the foundations “of the city that have caused you to bury me.”

If you’re willing to retweet a hashtag but not attempt to understand this commercial, then those hashtags obviously are not working in forcing people to think critically about the issues plaguing our nation and our campus today. 

To dismantle the institution that is “helping the cops burn my body” and expose Lady Justice for the fraud she is, voices like Pickett’s need to be amplified until we get your attention. Not blocked, censored and silenced. You can swipe out of Twitter when you’ve had enough of a hashtag, but black and brown bodies can find no refuge from a system built to profit on their blood.

As students of color, as people who face oppression and racism engraved into their everyday life, we support and stand behind the video that spoke for the silenced voices which were never too discomforting for you to pay attention to.

The video was meant to make you talk about it, to confront a police force that doesn’t reflect diversity in religion, ethnicity and gender, to prove to you that the police is your form of safety but our biggest threat.

If this video is “violent,” then what do you call what happened to Tamir Rice, Rodney King, Michael Brown, Kendra James and all the other souls whose lives were cut short at the hands of your criminal “justice” system?

Students of color, black and brown bodies — Eneale Pickett should not have to apologize or filter the way he portrays the reality we experience everyday just so the state senator doesn’t claim “this is like yelling fire in a crowded theater.” The crowded theatre has now gone over capacity and the fire has been burning.

This isn’t yelling fire in a crowded theater, this is telling people outside that the flames are relentless and bodies are being burned and it’s time to wake up.

The Solidarity Caucus is a coalition of students dedicated to uplifting marginalized and underrepresented communities at UW through active resistance and education. The caucus includes, but is not limited to, Students for Justice in Palestine, Wunk Sheek, MEChA and the Black Student Union.