Statement of solidarity with protestors condemning racial violence and calling for reform
The recent senseless murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Milwaukee’s Joel Acevedo highlight the ongoing racial violence Black Americans suffer daily. The scourge of state violence in the forms of police brutality and lack of justice for crimes against black bodies are only two of many manifestations of our country’s deep history of anti-black racism. The disproportionate burden of sickness and death African Americans have borne due to structural inequities during the COVID-19 pandemic adds to the body count of preventable deaths.
Current protests continue the legacy of resistance to systems perpetuating racial inequalities experienced in mass incarceration, hypersegregation, employment insecurity, disproportionate poverty, political disenfranchisement, healthcare disparities, and more. Although white supremacist groups have shamefully infiltrated protests to start fires, destroy property, and cast suspicion onto black-led demonstrations, the cry of protestors for racial justice and equality must be upheld.
The Department of African and African Diaspora Studies was founded to elevate the voices, stories, value, human dignity, and beauty of people of African descent, long suppressed and negated. As we collectively grieve those we have lost, we will continue to stand with those who resist the erasure of black people and their voices.