This is one hell of a time for us to be here.
The last time we had words printed in our newspaper was right before the beginning of the worst global health crisis in modern history, a catastrophe that has claimed the lives of too many in our world, country and community.
Last summer, following the killing of George Floyd and ongoing racial injustice toward Black communities at the hands of police, protests took place throughout San Marcos and beyond with our sisters and brothers — including from Texas State — pleading for their lives to matter to the general population.
Then we transitioned to arguably the most polarizing election in American history, a process that fostered divisiveness in our communities before but certainly worsened after, leading to a vicious insurrection in the U.S. Capitol by a mob unhappy with the outcome of our democratic process. It was an event that led to the unnecessary deaths of five people and conveyed a stark contrast between how our country responds to marginalized communities seeking equality compared to those who are white, privileged and angry because something does not work in their favor — a reality members of our own organization have also benefited from.
The opportunity to have your stories displayed in our newspaper again, often the first draft of history, was something we looked forward to. We knew Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the start of the spring semester and the presidential inauguration on the horizon — all amid the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic — would lead to more opportunities for us to be a trustworthy presence during a time when people needed it most. We would also be lying if we said the disheartening events that have taken place in recent weeks have not taken a mental and emotional toll on us.
It is times like these when we lean on the teachings of historic figures like King, who once wrote, “We are not makers of history; we are made by history,” which we interpret as a condemnation of conformity to wrongdoing. He made it clear we can either choose to be “a molder of society,” or get “molded by society.”
King’s words serve as an important reminder not to succumb to the status quo and actively work against the policies and procedures that have kept everyday people from receiving equal opportunities. That was the motivation behind The Star taking on “The 11% Project,” an examination of Black students at Texas State through History, Election, Hometowns, Activism, Creatives, Mentorship and 10 years from now.
We understand the importance of holding our university leaders, city officials and law enforcement accountable and responsible for answering the important questions they have disregarded for decades. From the very beginning of this school year, it was all about us having internal discussions, for better or worse, about what we could do as an organization to not be a part of the systemic problem — with intentions of transforming those discussions into policy we hoped would get passed on once our time as part of this organization came to an end.
As we continue to find our footing and work to make sense of everything happening in this community, we will keep the words of King, and others who fought for people to have a chance, alive.
"The tough mind is sharp and penetrating, breaking through the crust of legends and myths and sifting the true from the false.”