AADS Statement of Solidarity

The Department of African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of
Wisconsin-Milwaukee stands in solidarity with Eric Lucas III, the African American child who was spat on by Stephanie Rapkin, a white Shorewood resident. We condemn her actions against peaceful protestors marching against police brutality against Black people. The counter-protestor first parked her car in the street to block protestors, then physically assaulted another protestor. As a department that focuses on the history, culture, politics, and economy of Black people in the USA, the Diaspora, and Africa we are aware of the history of protests for social justice. Anti-apartheid protests, civil rights protests, and protests against police brutality and anti-Blackness are important because they push nations to examine their institutions and the actions of citizens that impede the progress of Black people and actions that are a threat to Black people’s life chances. It is our hope that Shorewood will use this opportunity to advocate open conversations among white residents to unpack racism, create inclusive policies such as increasing Black-owned businesses in Shorewood, and to fight institutional racism within its schools.