Hundreds of BC students gather at Monday’s ‘Stand Against Hate’ rally

They shared how this week’s events have left them feeling

By 4:30pm Monday, hundreds of students had already assembled on the quad, facing Gasson to stand against hate. A megaphone was passed from speaker to speaker, many of whom volunteered to get up in front of the crowd on the spot.

Most of the speakers were students who shared how the hate echoed in last week’s presidential decision has affected their lives so far. Though every student’s story was different, they all included the message “you are not alone.”

Impassioned students lit candles, cried and cheered on those who spoke to the crowd. Frank Garcia, pictured above, spoke about BC’s commitment to social justice, but he also shared how students have come to his office, in tears, scared of what’s going to happen.

Garcia, along with other speakers, encouraged students to stop thinking of this as a political issue, but as a matter of human rights.

“This is no longer a white/black thing, no longer a religious thing, no longer a who do you love thing – it’s a humanity thing. You believe in humanity.”

In between speakers, two of the women leading the rally led the crowd in call and response chants such as those in the inner portion of the semi-circle shouting “Who’s got our back?” and the outer circle responding, “We got your back!”

When one student, Hope, stood up to speak, she expressed how nervous she was only to have the crowd yell out: “You got it!” She continued to tell students, “I don’t want you to ever feel like you have to feel bad for how you are feeling.”

Rusty encouraged all at the rally to stop joking about leaving the country and instead told the crowd, “If you have the right to stay here and fight – do it.”

Like many other speakers, when Muhammad took the microphone, he shared a poem. He also shared that he had never stood and spoke in front of a crowd before and the crowd shouted encouragements. He reminded everyone there that “in all your times of loneliness and despair, you have a campus that supports you. Never feel alone.”

Andy shared how he recently visited his grandmother who told him “Mi hijo, I tried,” and all he could say was that he tried, too. He assured students he was “not here to stay silent.”

Members of Eradicate #BostonCollegeRacism closed out the evening, reminding everyone present that having to beg the administration to hold an event like this is not normal.

The group announced that while there isn’t currently a reliable way to report bias and acts of hate on campus, if anyone experiences this, they can report it to Eradicate. Eradicate will also be providing safe spaces for students and hosting future events to continue discussions like tonight’s.

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