A silent protest is occurring this week on campus that encourages students to stop using the N-word.
Rashad Mosely, an 18-year-old freshman ethnic studies major, is leading the protest by encouraging his fellow students to cover their mouths with a piece of black tape signifying their dissatisfaction with the word.
Mosely said he wants to differentiate the protest from similar one-day rallies because those kinds of protests would not do the cause justice.
“Let’s all wear green to protest such and such, but the next day we will hardly remember that we even participated,”he said. “We are not moving with that type of action.”
The N-word protest is nosingle event, just individual students taking it upon themselves to participate.
“I took up this cause to bring attention to the inequalities of society that I share,” Mosely said. “The N-word has brought a damper to my life and the continued use of the word serves only the people who made it.”
Denise Manning, a Sacramento State student, said she thinks people use the word so casually that they don’t realize the hurtful affect it can have.
“I have had friends who I’ve asked not to greet me like that,” Manning said. “I think it’s degrading.”
Nitoye Nakv, a biology major, said depending on the context, he sees the word as more of a cuss word then as a derogatory term. He doesn’t see the protest as having much of an affect.
“You couldn’t protest against people using the F-word,” Nakv said.
The silent protest was an idea Mosely developed with his friend, Jules Ramzy. Mosely said he wants to bring about social change and calls the protest a baby step in the process.
Mosely and Ramzy did not want to massively publicize the protest and only shared information about the event with a close group of people.
“To me there is not much of an effect, as it is a word used heavily by some, even from people not of African descent,” Mosely said. “I only hope that the word will be one that fades from our collective history as people.”
Mosely carries around a roll of black tape for anyone willing to participate. As the week progresses, he said he hopes to encourage others to lead by example.
Mosely said the protest is meant not as an act to gain numbers, but an act that shows students are ready and actively working to bring about social change. He expects only those truly seeking social change to participate.
“It would take a mass awakening, or in other words, a miracle,” Mosely said. “But there is always hope and struggle.”
Sean Keister can be reached at [email protected]