“Navigating [these politics] came through people like Bryonn who walked me through that racial consciousness and turned that into something very practical,” New School professor Hussein Rashid, who graduated from Columbia College in 1996, recalls. “We had a lot of agency coming into this protest tradition at Columbia.”
As campus activists, Bain and his peers in various campus affinity organizations not only challenged institutional injustice at the administrative level but also at the student level. He and others who fought alongside him on issues related to race and racism on campus publicly criticized Spectator’s perceived complicity in upholding structural racism at the University. “Their reporting was very deferential to authority,” Rashid—who wrote several pieces critical of the paper’s treatment of Black and Latinx voices and concerns—says. “There is so much talk about racial justice and equity in these spaces coming from ‘changing the narrative.’ What we really need is a movement that changes the narrators,” Bain adds.