GW Anthropology Stands in Solidarity with Anti-Racist Movements

June 02, 2020

 

Dear students and faculty, 

As we struggle to absorb the news of recent days, we are writing to remind everyone to take care of themselves physically and emotionally. We also want to offer a chance to think through -- together -- how to better understand and respond. These are times of profound insecurity due to the pandemic -- but this is an insecurity that is drastically amplified for people of color, as has been demonstrated so horrifically these past weeks. 

Most immediately, we want to express our solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, and with those protesting the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. We are angry and heartbroken that we are here yet again. 

It is difficult to imagine an adequate response to the events that have recently taken place -- events that are a continuation of hundreds of years of systemic injustice and day to day inequality. Instead of using current challenges to make improvements, many actors are retrenching institutionalized prejudices. 

As anthropologists, it is our duty to recognize our historical role in perpetuating colonialism, racism, and cultural erasure. We, as individuals and as a department, need to redouble our commitment to diversity, dialogue and action. As we critique current violence, we must also inquire into our own privilege, and its contribution to oppression. 

We are attaching some resources for self-care and activism. We would also like to propose an open discussion on recent events focusing on action, accountability, and police brutality in a time of crisis.

 

Sincerely,

 

Joel Kuipers

Current Department Chair

 

Alex Dent

Rising Department Chair