To live in a place and to call it home are two very different states of being. They are separated by a chasm of complications and bound up in living history — the products of social cleavages that date to this country’s original sin.
With the recent University of Wisconsin homecoming video, it should go without saying that this university — from its administration down to its student body — has failed to cultivate a space that is truly a home for its students of color.
#HomeIsWhereWIArent — a lamentation, a call to action, an ultimately hard truth.
Now, there are spaces where students of color have carved out a home — cultural centers come to mind immediately. These places are vital for communities who have found nothing like it elsewhere on this campus or beyond.
This board, comprised of The Badger Herald’s senior management, would like to expand that definition, even if in an abstract sense. Student media can and should be a place that feels like home — because this platform and the power it wields is ours, in a collective sense. In a student sense.
“This platform and the power it wields is ours, in a collective sense. In a student sense.”
Certainly, journalism and the stories that shape our dominant narratives have plenty of room for improvement. But that growth comes from all who are involved — whether by writing, reading or even absorbing secondhand.
The media isn’t — or at least, shouldn’t be — a closed-off world only fit for those who call themselves journalists. It’s comprised of people who care about their communities — people who have something to say.
At its core, journalism is about people. It’s about telling people’s stories, it’s about uplifting people’s voices and it’s about telling the world that people matter. The words people say, the things people do — it all matters.
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And on a campus like this, a place where that homecoming video is even possible, this responsibility — our responsibility — to students of color matters even more.
Journalism isn’t just about interviewing sources or telling people’s stories for them. As we’ve begun to learn in difficult ways over the past few years, journalism is also about passing over the microphone — letting somebody else, somebody new tell the story.
So while the onus for addressing the issues that confront this campus in light of the homecoming video and the events of this week should never fall squarely on the shoulders of communities of color, The Badger Herald is committed to serving as a platform for such voices.
If you are passionate about something, if you are upset or excited or angry or relieved about something, if you have something to say, then we have space for you.
If you would like to get involved with The Badger Herald, please email [email protected]
The Badger Herald Editorial Board serves to represent the voice of the editorial department, distinct from the newsroom and does not necessarily reflect the views of each staff member.