Protest At Adelphi University Causes A Social-Media War

Protest At Adelphi University Causes A Social-Media War

Shut up and listen
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On Friday, October 16th, during the annual Midnight Madness event at Adelphi University, about 40 students and faculty sat during the National Anthem.

The protest, in support of Colin Kaepernick and his kneeling during the national anthem, was against police brutality.

During the time of the protest, there was virtually no reaction. Kindeya Chairo, the Vice President of Black Students United (BSU) pictured in the front with a Black Lives Matter T-Shirt noted in a Facebook post that the greatest reaction in-person immediately following the protest was a few "boo"s.

This peaceful presentation generated a peaceful response, or so we thought.

That night and the following day, a few Adelphi students flocked to social media to respond to the events that happened at Midnight Madness:


With dozens of comments and "likes" on Facebook, it could be assumed that many Adelphi Students support the opposing argument: All lives Matter.

But was this even a Black Lives Matter protest?

Chiaro told me that the protest was against police brutality, yes she's wearing a Black Lives Matter T-shirt, and the two movements share many common threads, however, it is extremely ignorant of onlookers to jump to the conclusion that this is a Black Lives Matter protest when in reality that wasn't even its initial motivator.

There is a lack of communication not only campus-wide, but also within our community. Do you honestly think that all of the student supporters of All Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter believe in police brutality? I don't.

And what is even more striking to me, is that there was no response during the time of the protest...where was the opposing argument? They weren't in front of their peers who were choosing to sit during the national anthem...

In today's society, we have become accustomed to the comfort of expressing ourselves behind a screen. I'm guilty of it, we're all guilty of it. When you are scrolling through your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, you aren't thinking about what you're "liking" for more than 30 seconds.

John Drew, a communications professor at Adelphi University and social media expert, says:

“What ends up happening, especially on social media… is that certain voices are able to drown out others and we in some cases lose the context of the debate or conversation."

Perhaps that is what's happening here. Those posting about this event on social media are mostly leaders on campus, whether they've chosen to take the Black Lives Matter or All Lives/Blue Lives matter side. However, currently, the argument has grown completely out of proportion to what it initially should've been about, which is police brutality.

With a click of the "like button, however " students and community members can choose a side without even realizing what it is they're "liking." What is more compelling to me however is the difference between the two protests.


The contrast of an in-person protest to an online one can be interpreted to be related to the level of comfort or self-assurance of the protester. In general, it is much easier to speak freely and in person about what you whole-hardheartedly believe in and are educated on. Think about public speaking. When you're giving a presentation about something you're interested in, or genuinely believe in, your body language shows it. Your eyes flicker, you seem more relaxed, and your voice carries the room. When you're speaking about something that you're unsure of, or can't defend, you produce a different reaction.

There is a certain level of comfort required in what you are defending in order to protest in person and I'm not sure if it's necessarily needed online.

Currently there is great tension in our country. Americans everywhere are frustrated with our presidential candidates, economy, the threat of ISIS and other terrorist groups, racial tensions and inequality, gender inequality and many other social and economic issues.

But social media doesn't have to be the catalyst to our growing communal divide. In other countries around the world, particularly during the Arab Spring in the middle east, citizens, many of which were college students, brought about real change and overthrew governments in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen, with not only social media but more importantly with unification.

Expressing yourself in 150 characters or less allows you to simplify your beliefs, your creed, into oversimplified characters and numbers which is ultimately a disservice to your own thoughts and human being because you were not given a brain or cognition or a heart to think this way.

“In a country that's divided culturally, tools like this [social media] are amplifying the two parties or two sides" notes Drew, "Whether its Trump versus Hillary, Black Lives Matter versus Blue Lives Matter, we're reducing our conversation to this back and forth emotional dialogue.”

If you are witnessing a protest like the one that happened at Midnight Madness and you disagree with it, SAY SOMETHING. Look that protester or group of protesters in the eye and ask: why do you feel this way? Listen to their responses. Absorb their words and listen to their ideologies and take a moment to reflect and compare them to your own. Chances are you will have more in common than different.

We are growing tired not only as a university but as a country. The only way to generate real change is with unification, and the only way to become unified is to get offline, look each other in the eyes, open up our ears and LISTEN.

Cover Image Credit: Kindeya Chiaro

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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Dear African-American Parents, You've Raised Some Strong Children

"Be bold. Be brave. Be beautiful. Be brilliant. Be (your) best." - Renée Watson

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I feel like I was lucky to be born in Black History Month. I mean, the culture, the new information that I discover, everything about Black History Month is my favorite. I also get to celebrate my mom (but when do I not celebrate her?) more than usual.

I've always looked up to my mother and it shows in how I act, speak, talk, walk, and write. She is a powerhouse and I know that she's tired, but I'd like to think of my brother and me being her motivation to keep pushing forward and not quitting. She's taught me more in 19 years than any textbook in school could have and she's taking on life, single and with her head held high because that's the type of woman she is. She's had to tackle raising my brother and me alone while helping us with homework, cheering us on at games and recitals, cooking our favorite meals, and putting us through college. She's superwoman in my eyes and I can only hope that I can be like this when I become a mother.

To all other African-American parents, you may not realize this, but you've raised some of the strongest children ever. You've given them reasons to stay in school and it's totally cliché, but you're the reason they want to buy their mother a new house or get their father a new truck. You're exposing them to the horrors of the world before the rest of society wakes up and sees the truth — it scares us at first, but you have to tell us otherwise we look stupid and you don't want your babies walking around with their heads down because they were unaware of the hatred that they had to endure because of a slight difference they have.

You made us understand that we should not be judged by the color of our skin, but by the content of our character and that we are not who society has stereotyped us to be. You've done an amazing job and I couldn't be any happier to be in such an amazing community.

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