Editorial: Black Lives Matter flag is welcome addition to campus

Staff Editorial

About two years after a petition was created to fly a Black Lives Matter flag on campus, one was raised Friday morning as the first flag to sit on the new “We are EIU” flag pole.

We at The Daily Eastern News are happy to see this flag flying on campus. It represents something very important for Eastern and for our society as a whole.

But just as we and many others are sure to be pleased to see the flag, we know there are some people on campus and in the community that are less that thrilled.

Most of these reactions are fueled by a misunderstanding of the Black Lives Matter movement and what it represents.

One of the main misunderstandings surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement is that it denigrates other movements. This belief has led to chants like “all lives matter” or “blue lives matter.”

But saying “Black Lives Matter” is not saying that other lives do not matter. It is simply saying that it is time to show the same respect for Black lives as we do for others. 

We know that there are people that will not understand and will hate the fact that a Black Lives Matter flag is on campus, but we hope they remain respectful in their disagreement and try to learn more about the movement and what it means.

The “We are EIU” flagpole will also be used to fly flags representing other groups on campus, and next weeks there will be a flag for LGBT History Month.There will of course be people that disagree with this as well.

We believe that this flagpole is a good addition to campus and will help students feel represented and welcome at Eastern.

Representation matters, and if this flagpole can play even a small role making people feel represented, it is a good thing.