I find it disgraceful, that in 2016, the Associated Student Government didn’t have the conviction to vote for the resolution to, simply, go on record, to oppose the flying of the confederate flag at the Bikes, Blues and BBQ event in Fayetteville. And, in the ultimate cowardice, used an old-school, Faubus-like political move to table the resolution, so no one had to go on record. Talk about statesmanship.

I am a 1982 graduate of the university and now live in Washington, D.C.  Just this week, the African American Museum opened here in Washington D.C., which shows the long, and often ugly history, that African Americans have undergone in our nation.  At almost the same time, the ASG was asked to take a stand against an ugly symbol of racism in our nation.  How sad, to this graduate of the UofA, to see those who want to be our future take the coward’s way out.

I know eyes may roll, about “back in the day,” but when I was a student we held our leaders to a higher standard. We challenged the prevailing wisdom of the day on Vietnam, Watergate and various social issues. We were told many times we were “hurting the image of the university,” or some other nonsense by those who wanted us to be quiet.  But we didn’t and we stood strong and, I believe, helped bring about change. To see the ASG, 34 years after I earned my diploma, not take action on a simple resolution saddens me and makes me wonder what type of leadership is on the UA campus.

As President Barack Obama said at the opening of the museum this past week, "The very fact of this day does not prove that America is perfect, but it does validate the ideas of our founding, that this country born of change, this country born of revolution, this country of we, the people, this country can get better."

Too bad the ASG is afraid to take a stand and contribute to making our nation better. Now, they can get back to other “important” matters like passing a resolution to “Beat Alabama!”

 

Randy White

BS Political Science

Class of 1982

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