August 31, 2020
Lethal and excessive use of force by the hands of police officers, security guards and privatized safety patrols have plagued and terrorized Black communities for 400+ years. The most recent murder of Trayford Pellerin and debilitating shooting of Jacob Blake are two more devastating examples of the war on Black lives. The Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations (OIIR) condemns state-sanctioned violence against Black communities. Without swift policy changes that include but are not limited to economic and political resource redistribution, our list of names will continue to grow. Systems of oppression like anti-Blackness, misogyny, transphobia, and xenophobia (among others) will continue to fuel institutions like the Fraternal Order of the Police and Black people will continue to die.
The abhorrent examples of the law enforcement interactions between Jacob Blake and Kyle Rittenhouse clearly exemplify the ongoing, seemingly never-ending plight of Black community members: Black folks are targeted and killed by law enforcement at a much higher rate than any other group of people, by law enforcement whose job is to protect and serve civilians.
Our time is now. Your time is now. The fight for liberation is unequivocally the responsibility of us all. Learn the needs of Black communities and ask the hard questions of yourself and your communities to push the needle forward toward freedom. How are you/your networks currently perpetuating systems of oppression? How will you move forward to educate yourself/networks and then mobilize your thoughts into actions?
We remember the lives and legacies of Sandra Bland, Kiwane Carrington, Philando Castile, Stephon Clark, George Floyd, Janisha Fondville, Eric Garner, Bothan Jean, Rodney King, Trayvon Martin, Elijah McClain, Tony McDade, Laquan McDonald, Nina Pop, Tamir Rice, Breonna Taylor, Emmit Till and so many more whose names we do not know.
OIIR would like to share some resources for students, faculty and staff as we process this pain: