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American Studies Program Statement on Racialized Violence, Police Brutality, and White Supremacy

The American Studies Program stands in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and in opposition to racist doctrines and actions, as well as the white supremacy that undergirds such doctrines, policies, presidential statements, and police murders of black and brown men and women. As mass protests continue in this country and across the world in response to the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and Tony McDade, among many other black Americans, the American Studies Program states here its commitment to challenging racialized violence against people and the spaces they inhabit. We are also committed to investigating through our scholarship and in our classrooms racism in all its forms as well as historical and current struggles against it.

American Studies is further committed to making our program a space that invites, welcomes, and supports the participation of people of all experiences, cultures, and identities and in which all are safe.  To that end, faculty in American Studies recognize our responsibility to examine and remedy the ways that racism and other forms of discrimination have shaped William & Mary and have affected the climate of the program, past and present.

Below are links to other responses as well as resources from this campus and beyond that speak to the current and past racialized violence to which we stand witness. 

If you have access to additional statements and/or resources that you would like to have shared please send them to: [[ldmeye, Leisa Meyer]] and we will add them to this initial list. 

STATEMENT OF INDIAN FEMINISTS ON THE POLICE VIOLENCE THAT KILLED GEORGE FLOYD

We, feminists in India, strongly condemn the murder of George Floyd, an African-American, by a white officer of the Minneapolis Police Department, and express our deep solidarity with the people’s resistance against police violence presently raging in the US and many other parts of the world.

Words from George Floyd in his death throes, "I cannot breathe", speak to each one of us. Recent data has yielded clear evidence that the Black community in the US has borne the brunt of the present COVID 19 crisis, pointing to serious gaps in provisioning, including access to housing and healthcare. They also account for a disproportionately larger percentage of the prison population. These realities underline the systemic racism and structured discrimination along lines of ethnicity within the US and the explosion of public anger now on display in major cities across the country represents a moment of truth for American society.

We in India, who have long been living with a sense of outrage over the violence and discrimination perpetrated by our own police force against minorities and the most marginalized, recognize the importance of this moment. The powerful slogan, ‘Black Lives Matter’ now resonating across the US, reminds us of the targeted violence being perpetrated by the Indian state and police against specific communities, right here, right now. We are anguished that Indian society has often been complicit in such brutality. Along with the Black community in the US, and drawing strength from their struggle, we also shout out loud, ‘Muslim Lives Matter’, ‘Dalit Lives Matter’, ‘Adivasi Lives Matter’, ‘Kashmiri Lives Matter’, ‘Trans Lives Matter’. Along with them, we also cry out, ‘We cannot breathe. Get off our necks!’

END POLICE VIOLENCE NOW. END STATE COMPLICITY IN SUCH VIOLENCE NOW! END RACISM NOW! END PATRIARCHAL VIOLENCE NOW!

June 2, 2020

Issued by members of FeministsIndia, an online India-based collective comprising over 750 individuals and groups