The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Why I walked into Café Mac naked: A friendly follow-up

I have taken a number of steps in advocating for a movement that will continue to be great. Initially, I was quite concerned with what follow-up would mean for what is a movement for the black male body. Some questions I have been considering are “How might I see tangible results of better perceptions of the black male body?” and “If successful, what are the implications of educating the public on such an issue?”

Throughout the development of this movement, I have had experiences that I believe are central to informing the public on the severity of this pressing issue. In meeting with Jim Hoppe, we spoke of what I desire to achieve in this. I was promised support so long as I did not expose my body in another setting as I did in Café Mac February 24th. Adhering to this meant that I would work with Jim in efforts to promote positive perceptions of my body and buffer negative effects on the public associated with having a black body and being a male.

After meeting with Jim a second time, it was explicitly stated that I could not be helped due to Macalester College policy. Macalester College campus has had the Consent is Mac and sexual assault discussion, a tough topic surrounding the body. I believe these discussions are now more accessible to the Macalester community due to my expression and my outreach to the public in my last opinion editorial.

Conversations I have had on campus pertaining to this topic have delivered positive input in my deliberation process of steps moving forward, one being the resolution of the indecent exposure policy in the Macalester College student handbook. What this would mean for the institution is of importance. Macalester College does not have any other Minnesota State Statute policies that it abides by in the student handbook. Why should members of a private institution adhere to a state statute?

I am not the first person to be without clothing on the Macalester College campus. The current step is the resolution of the indecent exposure policy in the Macalester College student handbook. In presenting this resolution to MCSG, general responses were in support of the resolution. Next, the resolution is to be brought to a vote by the student government [Editor’s note: since the submission of this opinion piece, the resolution passed in MCSG. Read more on page 5]. Some members of the student government expressed a need for students to give feedback on this current issue of the black male body.

I am interested in communicating with students publicly about my vision for the movement. I am considering a panel discussion/Q&A on feelings and attitudes towards the movement and the policy as well as importance and implications in moving forward. I believe this perspective to be important because of its implications to current and future students of Macalester College.

Rather than discussing this issue within the domain of academia solely, the personal domain would be a central focus of the discussion as these issues associated with the black male body require many subjective individual perspectives. This discussion might inform students of the Macalester College community on ideas not commonly shared with peers, encourage social learning, and promote a safer campus environment for some and possibly many.

I invite readers and students of Macalester to email me with questions and feedback on this article and the previous article as well so that I might have a more informed perception of student attitudes and feelings pertaining to this topic.

Ultimately this expression of the body will serve to alleviate me of many stressors associated with having a black male body and promote positive perceptions of my body such that racial stereotypes and gender norms associated with my body might be brought to attention in a way that moves toward a better future for people of color.

I am excited to receive responses from students. I am a person of color, but I am not black. In fact, what is considered “black” is certain African genetics that allow for the skin to accept intense amounts of sun in Africa. This misperception of race and ethnicity concerns me. My parents were born in Monrovia, Liberia. I was born in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. Questions and concerns about the misperception of my race call for discussion as to what constitutes chucking me into a category of people not of a similar background to me without the proper language and solely based on my skin pigmentation. This insolence must be eradicated.

I would like to thank James Lindgren for his assistance and support in the passing of resolution 0002 Indecent Exposure from the Macalester College student handbook and implementation of the Obscene Exposure policy. This work has proved to be most positive for my movement as well as educational in the entire process of creating the language for the resolution and Obscene Exposure policy. Please feel free to email me the email below with your own input on this issue.

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