Statement of Solidarity Against Racism
It is with utter pain, rage and disgust at the abhorrent murder of George Floyd and the countless other victims of racism and targeted police violence that precede it that I write in the name of the DLCL community.
The DLCL stands in solidarity and compassion with all the communities that are hurt, threatened, unsafe, discriminated against just because they were born one color, rather than another, in one family instead of another, or, since racism goes hand in hand with misogyny, homophobia and other kinds of despicable bigotry, because of their sex, gender, origin, nationality, age.
To all the Black members and members of minorities in our communities, we stand by you, in anger, frustration, revulsion, and action, and will support you in whichever way you want us to. The Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages’ very existence and mission is to promote, understand, uphold and cherish the utter diversity of human cultures and to hold all of them with equal respect and consideration. More, it is at its heart to engage daily in the action of paying attention to the unspoken systems of domination past and present, the structural flaws of our societies, reflected and addressed by artists, writers and thinkers - - by words, images, expression, and denunciation. It is to help these words resonate louder; to speak up and let the silenced be heard.
I encourage everyone among us to rally in solidarity and be attentive to the needs of those most hurt and in distress: students, staff and faculty who might need time, support, or be unable to concentrate and work in view of the incredible trauma and pain of this last week’s violence. Be supportive. I include below resources shared by the Stanford Black ASSU’s leadership. I hope they can be helpful.
Finally, I want to point out what you all know: that this week’s events did not happen in a vacuum, nor are they a United States’ problem only. Acts of hatred are sanctified by systems of injustice that make them thinkable and acceptable; by words and actions at the highest position in the political system that embody and legitimize racism. Here as elsewhere, political speech, parties, legislations, representations in the media that run against all the humanistic values we hold as self-evident truth need to be tirelessly fought. It is my belief that the work that we do here in our scholarship and teaching has the potential to do just that. We must all do our part.
In rage and compassion united,
Professor, French Literature and Culture
Chair, Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages
Educational resources for anti-racism:
Anti-racism resources for white people: Resource guide compiled by Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klein for white people to deepen their anti-racist work.
Confronting white supremacy: Educational resource sheet put together by educators to discuss and dismantle white supremacy in the classroom.
Resource Hub for Black History and Activism: Google Drive compiled by Charles Preston, filled with books and other important work by Black activists and readings on a range of topics.
Beyond the Hashtag: How to Take Anti-Racist Action in Your Life: Article written by Zyahna Bryant about how to take steps towards non-performative activism and anti-racist actions.
Donate to the following organizations:
List of bail funds by city: Bail funds are a way to support frontline protesters who are being arrested - as well as building towards a movement to end cash bail and free hundreds of thousands of people who are in pre-trial detention during a pandemic.
NorthStar Health Collective: NorthStar is a Minnesota-based street medic collective, offering first aid and medical support to people on the frontlines right now.
Reclaim the Block: Reclaim the Block is a Minneapolis community org providing supplies and support to protesters, as well as pushing Minneapolis to spend less on policing and more on healthcare, housing and education.
The Black Visions Collective and Legal Fund: Black Visions Collective, a Black, trans and queer-led organization, is helping lead the protests and advocating to defund the police in Minnesota.
Rebuild Lake Street: Lake Street Council is donating 100% of these proceeds to the local business and nonprofits affected by the fires and helping them continue to serve their communities.
Tips for protesting safely (courtesy of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez)
1. LOOK OUT FOR THINGS THAT DON’T SEEM RIGHT. There are increasing reports and investigations that white supremacists may be infiltrating these protests, breaking windows and destroying property. If anything seems off to you, DOCUMENT IT. Always check who is organizing.
2. FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS OF GRASSROOTS BLACK ORGANIZERS. They have been at this a long time and are disciplined in the ropes of community organizing and demonstration. It IS a discipline. Follow trusted leaders whose goal has been the focused pursuit of justice. If they just showed up, that’s a red flag.
3. HAVE A BUDDY. Make sure someone is keeping an eye on you and check in on them.
4. PROTECT YOURSELF. Wear a mask - we are still in the midst of a pandemic. Turn off your phone’s Face/Touch ID and turn on airplane mode. Here’s an extensive guide on how to protest safely from Vice.
5. STAY SAFE and take care of each other!