We, the editorial staff of The Reflector, recognize the fundamental right of the governed to speak their minds to the governing, for there can be no true "government of the people, for the people, by the people," if we do not hear the people. Therefore, we believe it is our duty as one voice of the people, as one voice for students at Mississippi State University, to condemn the police brutality which has become apparent across our nation in recent times and in times before. There can be no justification for law enforcement officers to unjustly and disproportionately wield their state power upon innocent civilians. We implore the well-meaning officers of police departments across Mississippi to join in similar calls of condemnation of police brutality and advocacy for the rectification of injustice.
Similarly, we condemn the systemic injustice within the American justice system that continues to breed inequality in America. We call for the addressing of race-based disparities that Black Americans face, such as longer sentencing for similar crimes, disproportionate jury-striking and an increased risk of facing uses of police force. Until these and other sources of abuse are rectified, we, as Americans, cannot expect the nation to heal.
In light of this, we unequivocally support the first amendment right of the people to peaceably assemble and to petition the government for a redress of the stated grievances and those unstated here. While we recognize the pain and emotion that is leading to some violence amid protests and commit to striving to do all we can to bring healing to the root causes of such anger, we do not stand with those whose violent methods of protest further harm and divide the nation. We believe it is in the best interests of all parties that protests remain dedicated to expression through nonviolent advocacy, rather than by inciting further violence.
Lastly, we condemn all violence against the press by law enforcement officials or by civilians, wherever found. The press must be protected in a free nation, for the press is one of the many ways the people can hold power accountable. We, as fellow members of the fourth estate, call for an end to press suppression across the nation, and our sympathies go out to all of those who share in our vocation who have been wrongly abused by those sworn to protect their communities or by those who inhabit those communities.
We, as The Reflector, commit to using our voice and our duty as the press to advocate for freedom and justice for all peoples and all Americans. We will strive to continue sharing the voices of the unheard in Mississippi, and we will work to further our efforts of inclusion in our workplace. All stories deserve to be heard, and MSU's student newspaper is here to share them.
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