“I didn’t expect it to be torn down,” Kerlyn Rodriguez, the Resident Assistant who created the BLM bulletin board expressed shock at the incident.
A parent of a student on Monday, 22nd of August 2016 for no apparent reason destroyed a Black Lives Matter Bulletin board which was positioned at the Sullivan Hall of the Villanova University. The parent who had brought his ward to school during student move-in vandalized the BLM bulletin board upon seeing it.
The board was placed there by the 18-year-old Resident Assistant, Kerlyn Rodriguez. Rodriguez said she knew her board didn’t depict the usual information students are typically welcomed to school with. But it was in no way an instrument to provoke violence. She explained that, as a Black woman and having friends of color too, she was concerned about the plight of Black people in America and shared their sentiments.
In an interview with the Villanovan, Rodriguez said, “I didn’t expect it to be torn down. But I expected people to knock on my door to start a dialogue. That is what it was for . . . A lot of my friends are African American, and I support them. I feel like [Minorities] are unjustly being targeted in America for the color of our skin, so I wanted to provoke a dialogue with my residents.”
Rodriguez posted handwritten notes just beneath the Black Lives Matter bulletin board which explained some facts about the movement. On some notes, she wrote, “Black Lives Matter is working for a world where Black lives are no longer systematically targeted for demise.” She also brought to light that, in the eye of the criminal justice system in America, Black lives matter less than white lives. This she backed with a survey conducted by the University of California that revealed that the probability of an unarmed Black man being shot by the police is 3.46 times more than a white unarmed man is likely to be shot by the police.
The action by the parent was greeted with much displeasure by both students and school authorities. Some students upon hearing what had happened stopped by Rodriguez’s room to console her. Some seniors on campus condemned the act while some few others thought the parent acted right.
One of the seniors, Kinaji Dave said, “We heard about an incident of a parent taking down an RA’s Black Lives Matter bulletin board on the first day of performances. By the second day, we incorporated into our show.”
He further added, “One of our scenes portrayed a Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter disagreement, and one of our white male plants spoke as if it was his police officer father who removed the display. I think it was a particularly powerful moment to have represented, because hopefully, it made the first-year students think about questions like, ‘how would I feel if my parent did that? If I disagreed, would I have intervened?’ I really try to get first-year students to think about what it means to leave home and form one’s own opinions at the university.”
It is still unclear why some whites get irritated when they hear us saying Black lives matter. It is proved that our lives haven’t mattered for some time now and they hate to see us fight our way through to freedom. Why should a simple bulletin board which carried harmless information upset this parent? Black lives really matter and we deserve fairness and justice too. We are not for supremacy as they want, we are for equality.