Timely Warnings: Living Life on the Edge

Tiana Meador

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You know what is a wonderful idea? Identifying a suspect without identifying them. No, really, I am serious! Why would we want any indication of someone’s unchangeable identity in that description? Here at University of Minnesota, we like to live on the edge, and camouflage it as fighting racism!

University of Minnesota officials don’t seem to care about the grand scheme of things: they seem to care only about smaller issues, that have a screaming minority behind them. Does racial profiling suck? Yes! By all means. Is police brutality a thing? Yes. 

Is endangering people because we care about their feelings too much on campus also a thing? You betcha (Minnesotan accent intended).

Here is the main issue. When someone commits a crime on campus, the University Police Department sends out these little warnings to everyone’s email. They go a little like this: “Hey you’re unsafe I think,” and when students ask, “What kind of danger am I in?” All the email can give is, “You’re is SOME kind of danger!”

Why does it go like that? Well, because we are more worried about protecting how people FEEL, we will leave out any indication of race- whether that be hair, skin, eyes shape-nyou name it. And I don’t just mean if the caller/victim gave a vague description, I mean they could give the most detailed description on earth, but the police would still omit it- because we care about people’s SAFE space and not the true safety of the campus. Living life on the edge!

I myself have been involved in this, when my car was surrounded by men, I did not hesitate to give a description of the suspicious activity and to-the-point descriptions. Trigger warning: I included race! Well because we like to live on the edge here at UMN of course I wasn’t taken seriously! Later that evening the same thing happened to some women, same outfit descriptions, but this time the men shouted vulgar things at the women, tried to enter their car, and exposed themselves.

Apparently UMN does not care about protecting people!

Flip the tables, and a person describes a white man- but then BAM! We remove that indication. Now this profile can be placed upon any minority man on campus- and there you have it! University of Minnesota’s race policy does not protect ANYONE. It does not protect the greater student body from dangerous suspects, and it does not protect any minority from getting profiled.

Ever heard of changing clothes? I woulder how many suspects have sought out refuge on our campus ground because they know they won’t be identified.

And what is more frustrating is that this is just another one of the University’s ploys to make this a “Safe Space.” Excuse me what? Safe? SAFE? FUNNY! Nah, they just want us to live on the edge. Shelter us from the real world- I am sorry but, if we continue this sugar coating, students are going to get hit with a harsh reality the second they leave campus.

Nobody cares how you feel, vast majority of this generation doesn’t care about your race either. You are human and that is it. Nobody is a “bad” race but nobody is special either.

Safe space my ass. The University’s race policy promotes further profiling because they are so vague. And they are vague on changeable aspects- so SAFE! Look, if you think it is worth more to prevent something that *may* happen over something that *will* happen- such as your student body getting sexually harassed. Fine. Be our guest. Karma will handle you.