Dear Students and Anthropology Community members,
Over the past few days, people across the country have taken to the streets in reaction to the death of George Floyd and the violent racism that has taken the lives of too many Black Americans and people of color. In the midst of a global pandemic that has disproportionately affected people of color, the continued targeted racism against Black Americans and the acts of state violence against the protestors seem especially difficult to comprehend. We, the faculty and staff of the Department of Anthropology and Museum of Anthropology, wish to stand in solidarity with all of you and against racism. To get right to the point, we would like to say the following.
To our students of color: We stand by you. We acknowledge the fear, the pain, the suffering, and the rage that you might feel now. We acknowledge the extra challenges you face daily and on our campus within a society that systematically discriminates against people of color. We are here for you, and we will do our best to listen and learn. We are here for you if you would like to talk more about these issues or how we can best support you.
To all the members of our Anthropology community: Let’s all take this moment to reflect on our actions and our position within our world. To be anti-racist means to acknowledge racism and take an active stance against a system that benefits white people at the expense of others. To be anti-racist means deeply reflecting on the sources of one’s privilege and doing the work to dismantle the system. To be anti-racist is a process of learning, listening, and doing. Let’s work together to make things better for everyone.
We have compiled some links here for you to learn more about racism in the U.S. and ways to confront it. These are outside links, some of which are being updated as events occur. This includes the American Anthropological Association’s statement on recent racist violence as well as several other resources. You might find these helpful to pass on to your friends, relatives, and others!
We stand with you.
The Anthropology Department & Museum of Anthropology
Statement from the American Anthropological Association June 1, 2020:
A Rush to Judgment Rather Than Justice
Anthropologists must apply resources to combat race-based injustices
AAA cannot be silent today in the wake of George Floyd’s senseless, brutal death in custody and the built up grief, anger, and exhaustion manifest in uprisings across the US recently. In a horrific week when pandemic deaths passed the 100,000 mark, disproportionately affecting black and brown people, and the unemployment rolls swelled by 40 million, again disproportionately affecting black and brown people, certain national leaders have sought to deflect responsibility through false equivalencies and incitement to violence.
The American Anthropological Association reaffirms its commitment to the values of diversity, equity, and human rights. We are outraged and call on our colleagues to channel our personal outrage in the application of our professional research, scholarship, practice, and teaching to participate in overturning the deeply entrenched institutional sources of race-based inequality that are barriers to a more just and sustainable world. We must do better and we can do so together.