The Dillard University protest was an eye opening experience. Going in, everyone thought that things were going to be peaceful. The protest was addressing the lack of recognition that the students received from their president, walter m. Kimbrough, prior to the senate debate that took place on their campus. The debate included a former kkk grand wizard david duke, which raised concerns for safety amongst the student body. The protest began with a few motivational messages from community leaders and dillard students who were also organizers of the event. Those messages were followed by chants. These chants included “let black excellence in,” and “no Duke, no kkk, no fascious USA.” Even with the chants, the protest remained peaceful. However, at one point the protesters tried to enter dillard’s auditorium, where the senate debate was taking place. This is also the point where things began to get out of hand. During this period two students were detained, and the crowd was pepper sprayed. A group of us were also threatened with stun guns. From a journalistic perspective, it was surprising to see that things got out of hand so quickly. It was also surprising to see that even the reporters and journalist were victim to the abuse that took place due to the pepper spray and the physical shoving. From the perspective of a young, african american student, it was heartbreaking. To see a group of young students simply trying to be heard, get abused and treated so poorly was simply sad.
You never truly know how you are going to feel about a certain situation until you are actually experiencing it. On the night of nov. 2, 2016, I ,along with many other students from around new orleans, decided to participate in the protest on dillard university’s campus. Not knowing what to expect, especially because this was my first protest, I went into the situation with an open mind, even as I looked around i saw many angry faces with signs in hand. As the actual protest started, we began to chant things such as “no Duke, no kkk, no fascist USA.” The crowd never got too out of hand or unruly; however, news reporters decided to report otherwise. One reporter over exaggeratedly began his report with, “they’re getting crazy out here!” It just showed how the media can take a situation and flip it. As the night progressed, the crowd began to get irritated, which led to the police getting irritated, in turn pepper spraying students, including some of our very own Xavierities. Myself and a couple other students were even stuck under a staircase where we were threatened with tasers. Of course, I was terrified, but i had to keep my composure because you cannot be weak in situations like this. I refused to give the officers that satisfaction. After almost being tased and escaping pepper spray, I left Dillard University feeling satisfied because I was able to go out there and stand in solidarity with the dillard students.