BY LIAM FARRELL | PHOTOS BY JOHN T. CONSOLI
While the arc of the moral universe may bend toward justice, that has never meant it doesn’t need help, or that there aren’t forces trying to push it the other way.
Be they the ideals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness enshrined in our Declaration of Independence or our pledges of egalitarian education here at the University of Maryland, we work each day to strive toward goals that are difficult to meet—but all the more worthy for being so.
We seem to have entered a new era of divisiveness. From children spewing racial slurs in school hallways to protestors fighting in the streets, from workers donning bulletproof vests while dismantling Confederate monuments to congressmen being shot at baseball practice, hatred’s tide has seemingly risen again.
UMD itself was taken by the current in the early hours of May 20, when 2nd Lt. Richard Collins III, a Bowie State senior, was fatally stabbed, allegedly by a then-UMD student who had once joined a racist group on Facebook.
“Great streams are not easily turned from channels, worn deep in the course of ages,” said the abolitionist and Maryland native Frederick Douglass, whose statue watches over Hornbake Plaza. “They may sometimes rise in quiet and stately majesty, and inundate the land, refreshing and fertilizing the earth with their mysterious properties. They may also rise in wrath and fury, and bear away, on their angry waves, the accumulated wealth of years of toil and hardship.”
The events of recent months have prompted concerned conversations in office corridors; debates online and in newspaper columns; pensive commutes to and from work.
Terp reached out to people from across the spectrum of our community—faculty, staff, students and alumni—and asked for their thoughts on hate in America and on college campuses, and how institutions and individuals can find a path forward.
You can read transcripts of the interviews, including one from our own Rashawn Ray, by clicking here.
This article was first published on terp.umd.edu on September 15, 2017.