Letter from the Staff

Fall 2015, Margins Staff

By: Margins Staff, for the Fall 2015 Issue (PDF version)

Friends, we are at a critical moment. This year has seen long-standing tensions across the country come to a head — in Black Lives Matter, the Fight for 15, the Sanders campaign, and more. Yale’s campus has proven no exception; as the veneer cast over our university’s long history of injustice peels away, it is impossible to ignore the urgency of the time and space in which we find ourselves as leftists and as human beings.

In light of recent events that have exposed the appalling reality of racism and marginalization at Yale, Margins stands in solidarity with the voices of students of color on our campus, particularly those of women. We cannot express any message of outrage, pain, or resilience more powerfully than our classmates, colleagues, and friends have done already, nor can we more urgently emphasize the need for action on part of both Yale’s student body and its administration. The Christakis’ dismissal of marginalized identities and SAE’s racist, misogynistic door policies only hint at the underreported ways in which our community and culture perpetuate violence against our fellow students.

For those who have not suffered in this way, complacency is unacceptable; to turn the other cheek is to be complicit. As a publication dedicated to envisioning and realizing justice, Margins must explicitly address the historical structures of racial oppression that continue to plague our society today. We recognize that we haven’t done enough in solidarity with our fellow students and affirm that, in the future, ours must be a platform for voices that have been silenced, as they have been and continue to be at Yale and everywhere.

Margins supports Next Yale and looks forwards with love and solidarity to a brighter, more just university for all. In addition, we heartily recommend that all of our readers explore these issues more deeply by reading DOWN Magazine, Yale’s publication for students of color.

On a national scale, Margins likewise seeks to dismantle the powerful structures of racial, patriarchal, and economic oppression that have undermined our society since its conception. We believe that our country is in dire need of deeply radical reform; we hardly expect Capitol Hill to agree, but we cannot ignore the critical stakes of the 2016 presidential election. While the Sanders campaign do not match the radicalism of Margins Board (much less its individual members!), his policies best reflect our values when compared to those of other Democratic candidates.

In his career as a public servant and in his campaign, Bernie Sanders has demonstrated his commitment to fighting Wall Street and corporations. He seeks to reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act and break up the big banks; moreover, he promises to strengthen unions and reform the tax code, shifting economic power back to the working class. His commitment to expanding the social safety net — with policies that range from reforms in healthcare and child support to a $15/hour minimum wage and tuition-free universities — will benefit every American. Furthermore, his plans to create a federal jobs program to fight climate change and rebuild our infrastructure hearken back to the success of the New Deal in addition to addressing some of the most challenging issues of our time.

Bernie also demonstrates a deep respect for democracy and a true concern for all Americans. His campaign does not accept donations from super-PACs or large corporations, and he has pledged to reform our corrupt electoral finance system by ending Citizens United and registering all citizens to vote at the age 18. Moreover, he is deeply committed to prison and criminal justice reform, and he seeks to abolish for-profit prisons, legalize marijuana, and put an end to the disastrous War on Drugs. Together with activists from across the country, he has also developed a comprehensive agenda for confronting racism in all its insidious forms. Throughout his career he has served as a dedicated advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, reproductive rights, and equal pay for women.

Finally, his foreign policy is far less hawkish than that of his predecessors, and he is the only candidate to have demonstrated an opposition to the military-industrial complex.

For all of these reasons, Margins endorses Senator Bernie Sanders for president. We fully trust that he will work with principle and transparency to create a more just and democratic America.

As a nation, a university, and individuals, we stand at a moment of immense potential for change. The coming months will be filled with vital opportunities for community, conversation, and action. It will take every single body, every single voice, to build the movement we so desperately need — in classrooms, on the streets, and atop Capitol Hill itself.

We can’t wait for you to write about it. But first, we’ll see you there.

In solidarity,

Margins Board