With the recent unrest between law enforcement and African American citizens that the nation has watched unfold in Ferguson, Missouri, some might think the word ‘unrest’ is mild in comparison to the tragedy and devastation that actually happened.
And with divided views on same-sex marriages, racial divisions of all kinds and the ingrained separatism that seems to abound in the world today, one man has been engaging in his own peaceful and calm protest of it all since last February.
Correl Hoyle is a senior at Ole Miss and a psychology major. Quietly he has been demonstrating against violence, hatred and discrimination of any kind for months.
“I started this because of a series of events, really,” Hoyle said. “The quote, unquote, riots after President Obama was reelected, last fall’s Laramie Project and all the incidents surrounding it, and then the icing on the cake was the noosing of the James Meredith statue. The week after that I decided to sit out here and kind of encourage others to not hate because of sexual orientation or the color of someone’s skin. No matter where you came from, or where you are; your sex, religion, the color of your skin, your gender, or socioeconomic status, we all came to the University of Mississippi for education. And around the world, people are still human beings, no matter who or what they are. They have rights and they have a voice and deserve to be heard.”
Hoyle said his protests, while made more poignant and timely because of recent events in Ferguson, are really for anyone who has ever felt they have been treated unjustly.
“This is for anyone who has ever felt any injustice or ostracism around the world,” he said. “There have been riots and angry protests around the world and had the students of our university taken the same route, it would have just served to put another bad connotation to our school. People would have said, Ole Miss is at it again, with the racial problems we’ve had in the past. So I think it shows the endearment and the power of the student body if we take a different route to protest the injustices that have happened around the country. A very peaceful one.”
Hoyle said police-on-civilian crime of late, was another prime reason for his protest.
“The scattered account of police-on-civilian crime, whether it was a black officer and a white child, or a white officer and a black child, any kind of injustice period, is reprehensible. There were some hashtags out here earlier that read, ‘Black Lives Matter,” but I believe all lives matter. So showing unity, especially at Ole Miss, is a breath of fresh air in the wake of what has happened.”
Hoyle had his own thoughts and comments about the tragedies in Ferguson.
“I believe the people of Ferguson indeed have a right to be angry,” Hoyle said, “they lost one of their own. But at the same time, not every person of color is a villain and not every person in uniform is a dictator. We can’t blame an entire police force for these actions, but most importantly, we cannot judge someone by their skin color. Racial hatred is a deep issue in our society and very difficult to uproot.”
Angela Rogalski is a HottyToddy.com staff reporter and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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