This summer has proven much more newsworthy than many might have thought or, sadly, more than any would have hoped. Given the college schedule and the nature of our paper, we have been unable to cover all of these events as they have occurred, nor in the detail we would usually wish to.
However, we understand that the McDaniel student body may be frightened, concerned and uncertain in the face of these events. Will they be safe on campus? Will they be safe if they go abroad, or even walking on the streets of Westminster?
For those in the LGBTQA and African-American communities, this is even more noticeable. The events in Orlando both highlighted how far rights for the LGBTQA community have come, and how much danger and hatred still exists in this country. And the recent deaths of Philando Castille and Alton Sterling have renewed fears of discriminatory killings in the minds of the African-American community.
Meanwhile, all Americans still fear the seemingly random violence of lone-wolf attacks and the continuing Islamic State threat. The attacks in Turkey, in Bangladesh, and in Dallas highlight the seeming unpredictability of these acts, and the tremendous damage, both physical and mental, that they can cause.
Indeed, there is a great deal of fear. And with fear comes the search for solutions, in the hope of preventing these events from happening ever again. It is not our place to say which solution is the “better” option, nor is it our place to dive into the political quagmire that has come in the aftermath.
But what is our place is to speak to our student body frankly and sincerely. Yes, there is reason to be fearful and nervous; with the constant bombardment of information about these events, such feelings are hard to avoid.
However, we believe that it is fitting to examine the bigger picture of these events, and to examine how they illustrate both the positive and the negative aspects in our society.
To examine the threat to the LGBTQA community, but also to celebrate the outpouring of support in the aftermath of the attack. To examine the deaths of so many young African-American men and women in the U.S., but also to examine how the Information Age has allowed for their deaths to no longer be hidden from the public eye. And to examine how the continued assault on the Islamic State has slowly but surely loosened their hold on territory in Iraq and Syria, and to hope that soon their ability to recruit, attack, and hold ground will be eliminated.
It is the hope of this paper that we as a student body will be able to look to the events of this summer and help form a path forward into the future, looking beyond the fear and uncertainty. As a publication, we believe that students at McDaniel have the ability to and should strive to take an active role in their community and in the public sphere, and we emphasize this concept in the wake of these tragedies.
We also invite members of the student body who have personal thoughts and feelings on these events that they would like to express to contact us, and to share how they feel these events have affected the McDaniel community.