Racism continues to surface in the Church and at BYU

COVID-19 has cleared BYU of its student population, but the reality of what some students have dealt with in the past and will likely face when they return hasn’t changed.

BYU and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have experienced issues with racism for years, and people of color are struggling to find the respite and refuge that the majority find in these places.

BYU’s student body is largely caucasian; 81% of students identify as caucasian, while black students make up 1% of the school’s population. BYU advertising student Kofi Aidoo said coming to BYU was very isolating for him because he is one of a handful of black students at BYU.

“When I first got here, you just felt out of place. You’re just the only one in the room for everything: church, the gym, classes, meetings,” Aidoo said. “Whenever you’re the only black person in the room, you’re most looked at to represent every black person in the world for these people.”

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Grappling with governing: What’s next for America, GOP after Capitol breach?

Supporters of President Donald Trump and others swarm outside the Capitol on Jan. 6 in Washington, D.C. Questions about what’s in store for the Republican Party are on the rise as Trump’s presidency draws to an end. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Counting the Electoral College votes is one of the roles of Congress that usually passes by with little note, but on Jan. 6 this previously little-known tradition was stalled by rioters who broke into the Capitol.

How did this happen? And where do American politics go next? At the center of these questions is President Donald Trump, claims of fraud in the 2020 presidential election, and both the Republican and Democratic parties.

Trump started his presidential campaign in 2015 as an outsider, but after he won the Republican Party’s nomination and subsequently the 2016 election, many Republican politicians recognized his position as the party leader and backed him, like Utah Sen. Mike Lee. Others, like Sen. Mitt Romney, questioned his fitness for office throughout his presidency.

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The faith of a modern pioneer: A BYU student’s immigration story

The Gomez family emigrated from Venezuela to Utah to have better opportunities and gather with other members of the Church. (Noriadnys Bybee)

Noriadnys Gomez Bybee was only 4 years old when her family of five boarded a Venezuelan military plane with hard, seatbelt-less seats and flew to the United States on July 1, 2001.

“My dad is a retired air force officer in Venezuela, and so he had a lot of connections to the military,” Bybee said. “That was the fastest and easiest way we could get out.”

Today families around the state celebrate Pioneer Day, the state-wide holiday commemorating the arrival of Brigham Young and other Latter-day Saint settlers to Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847. For the Gomez family, their immigration story parallels many of the experiences those early pioneers faced as they traveled to and settled in Utah. “I think God is very mindful of the people that He brings and that He moves,” Bybee said.

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Shots fired as Black Lives Matter and Back the Blue collide in Provo

Provo Police are investigating gunshots and an injury after “Back the Blue” and Black Lives Matter protesters butted heads Monday night in downtown Provo.

Video shows a person firing on a vehicle that was pushing its way through protesters on University Avenue. “Several protestors began crowding around the vehicle. A male protestor ran to the SUV on the passenger side, pointed a handgun at driver and shot one round through the window. The driver, who was struck by the bullet, hit the gas trying to leave the situation,” Provo Police said on social media Tuesday morning.

The night started with each group on opposite corners and ended with counter-protesters marching and stopping traffic on Center Street and University Avenue before returning to the police station and being met by police in riot gear.

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