Sociology club holds Moment of Silence

Posters against police brutality and racism took to the center of Southeastern’s courtyard as the Southeastern Sociological Association showed their solidarity for Mike Brown and those mourning him by hosting a Moment of Silence near the Katrina-Rita Memorial Fountain. 

The Moment of Silence was set up in order to show Brown’s family members that people everywhere were affected by his untimely death. The event was also intended to spread awareness about the injustice placed upon this young man and other victims of police brutality.

“We really just want to pay respects to Michael Brown and not just for him. There’s so many of them who have been unarmed, and for whatever reason police see them as a threat and shoot them,” said the Vice President of SSA and sociology major,  Chelsea Alexander. “That’s wrong. A lot of people aren’t even aware of the events that are going on in the world.” 

Brown was shot and killed by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri while unarmed Aug. 9. Some view his death as a symbol of the often forgotten hate crimes perpetuated by those who promise to protect and serve the community: the police. 

Many people passing by joined in to show empathy toward the deceased teen’s family members. For students from all walks of life, this event gave them a platform to discuss injustice and racism openly.  

“It’s important to raise awareness about the events that are happening and to show support to the family of Mike Brown, to show them people care about what’s going on,” said SSA member and social work major Breyanna Johnson. “I also think it’s important for any campus to have an event like this to show support because things that happen in the community affect people that go to college too.” 

Many people decided to join SSA after attending the eye-opening Moment of Silence. Some were glad to see a large group of people confronting these tough issues head on. 

“I’m glad to see faculty and staff coming out on our campus to say something about an important issue. We used to do more of this. Hopefully this is an indicator that we’re going to remember how we fit in the bigger picture” said Rebecca Hensley, professor of sociology.

There was also a large communal poster at the event which read, “Thoughts on Ferguson,” where people were free to write whatever they felt about the events that happened there following the protests. There were a large selection of markers and paper where people who joined in could make their own signs and express how they felt about what happened to Brown. One student held up a sign that read “DON’T SHOOT!” harkening back to the last words of many innocent people before being killed by police.  

Criminal justice major Alexis Williams held up a sign that read, “No matter what color.” 

“I find it very significant because it wasn’t just black people coming along; it’s also white people, Spanish people, all different races coming together for one event to stop what’s going on,” said Williams. “Because at the end of the day, just because he was black don’t mean nothing. They still have Latinos that are getting hurt. They have all type of cultures that are being devastated by all these actions going on that need to stop. We all need to be as one.”