Will change finally come at the University of Alabama? Ed Enoch’s article “Students rally in support of inclusion on University of Alabama campus” in The Tuscaloosa News reported on the concerns of some students:
Sehar Ezez, a senior majoring in history from Tuscaloosa who addressed the crowd at the foot of the front steps of Gorgas Library, argued the gains of the past weeks are positive signs but the demonstrators still face a culture that has an institutional indifference to racism.
“That is real great, but as long as we have a system where racism is tolerated and as long as the Machine is putting its influence on who is going to be hired, change is not enough,” Ezez said.
There is a culture of fear on campus, she said. Women who are sexually assaulted are afraid to speak out, she said. Minority students are left to endure racist comments, she said.
“They can’t speak up because they are the only minority students in the class,” Ezez said.
To illustrate the hostility, James read messages from social media directed at the demonstration by hecklers and recalled his experience with a car full of young white men who yelled “Roll Tide,” and then added a racial epithet as he walked by the stadium on a Saturday night.
“These are things I have to go to sleep with,” James said. “We are talking about trauma and injury, not to the body but to the spirit.”
Student organizer Amanda Bennett said that the demands of the concerned students “reflect the broad interests of the coalition including increasing diversity, improving the campus handling of sexual assaults and making reforms to campus politics.”
The key to change at the home of the Crimson Tide may very well be reining in its secretive society The Machine. That would take an historically monumental sea change. According to the article newly appointed President Stuart Bell has been receptive to the student concerns. Perhaps he will be less intimidated than past President Judy Bonner seemed to be by the past and current members of The Machine?
Will a school that has been enslaved by The Machine for so long be finally emancipated? Will Southern change finally come at last?