The site was a bit more stunning than I had anticipated.
Shop owners stood at their doorways, aprons still latched upontheir waists. Speakers stood with the American flag behind them,professing truths with voices that echoed through town. Studentsstood proud of a belief, putting time and energy into a real issuethat effects society.
And Mayor Jerry Kelly of Indianola spoke of the marchers’parallels with college protesting during the Vietnam era.
But students, faculty and members of the community weren’t outfor protest. Those present were simply marchers for equality, or asWalter Lain, assistant dean for multicultural and internationalaffairs put it, “we are here to achieve a celebration ofdifferences.
In its second year, the Ounce of Learning campaign awarded theOunce of Doing Discrimination Awareness group $1,000 to arrangeefforts for its cause. The result was the Mar. 19 march fromSimpson to Indianola’s square.
The primary concern for the event was that nobody would show up.But a large number left what they were doing to join the group, andas the march preceded, more and more joined. Altogether, there werearound 50 people present at the rally.
But as speaker Felipe Gallardo said, “this is a good turnout,but it is our goal to double this number next year, and then doubleit the year after that and that triple it the year after that.
The cause promotes a universal truth all can agree with, it’ssomething Simpson students can use as a platform for exercisingtheir beliefs for the future. It’s easy to stay locked away in adorm studying, playing sports or singing; it takes a certain energyand motivation to get out and really practice what’s really goingon in the world, but once you do, the education you may receive andthe feeling that comes with it is something a comfort zone won’tprovide.
It’s interesting that the organizers for this event werefreshmen. Even Lain is in his first year at Simpson. This isexciting. Simpson has a class of social reform Carmelo Anthony’s.This will provide leadership and reform opportunities for studentsin the future, and for now.
Simpson should hold the goal of doubling next year’s march asone that should be focused on. This is a great opportunity forstudents to get out and into the community. We can show everyonewe’re not just caged animals of an institution whose only escapeinto the outside is a trip to the Zoo.
But students need to take the initiative. Greater things can beachieved if we take the initiative, instead of just complaining andbelieving it’s out of our realm. It’s the same apathy that keepsour youth out of the booths, and our generations’ voice quietpolitically.
So, friends, be active. There are many opportunities outthere.
And as a side note, the march was a peaceful one, but anyonethat honked annoyingly during the march, namely the hooligan kidswith their infernal music, I will destroy you.