Community shows solidarity for MSA
Students shared their 'NYPD files' at a public demonstration on College Green
February 24, 2012, 1:33 pm·
Justin Cohen | DP
College freshman Jesus Fuentes walked to the middle of the semicircle on College Green clutching a manila folder.
He read a list of facts about himself and ended with, “and I’m a minority and that’s all that matters to them.”
Fuentes took part in today’s demonstration, “NYPD Files: A Stand Against Profiling,” hosted by the Muslim Students Association. It was organized in response to reports by The Associated Press that the New York Police Department was monitoring MSAs across the northeast, including at Penn.
For about an hour beginning at noon, community members took their turn reading aloud facts about themselves written on manila folders — their “NYPD File.” Participants shared their favorite foods, pets and what they’re studying and ended with statements such as “and I’m a Muslim and that’s all the NYPD cares about.”
College senior Tatum Regan ended her file with, “and I’m a feminist and that’s all that matters to them.”
Another ended with, “And I’m a raging homosexual and that’s all that matters to them.”
“And I support the MSA,” many said.
The demonstration hoped to raise awareness about the issue of profiling and garner solidarity for the MSA. At its peak, the semicircle consisted of about 20 community members all holding their manila “NYPD File.”
Participants also had the option of signing an attendance sheet that will be posted on MSA’s website to publicly show solidarity for MSA.
“I think that when one group is targeted, it is not only disgraceful but it’s inequality for everyone,” said Nursing sophomore Liz Harbuck, who signed the attendance list. “Everyone is affected by it.”
Passersby chose to watch the demonstration to show their solidarity.
“It’s so unfortunate that this is happening on our campus,” said Fariha Khan, Associate Director of the Asian American Studies Program. “I think it’s important that all students recognize its importance.”
“I support the MSA because I’m Muslim, I’m Asian, I’m brown, and I am completely against racial profiling,” Khan added. She signed her name on the attendance sheet.
Fuentes pointed to the demonstration as hope for future change. “Complacency is the number one feeding factor in all that’s wrong with our world,” Fuentes said. “This shows we are not complacent.”