Statement of solidarity from CMLLC
We in the Department of Classical and Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures mourn the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Adama Traore, Oury Jalloh, and the far too many other victims of racist violence in Detroit, in the United States, and around the world. We condemn police brutality and racism in all their forms, and we stand in solidarity with protestors everywhere who are affirming that Black Lives Matter, and who are calling, in many languages, for justice. Across the globe, "we want to breathe too" has become a shared, urgent call to identify and root out racism.
We recognize that racism, racist violence and oppression are concrete obstacles to attaining higher education, and that racist policies and institutions, violence, and wars disrupt and prevent access to education and create unequal opportunities. As scholars and teachers, we thus vow to take concrete steps to ensure that the voices of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color have meaningful places in our work. We express our commitment to anti-racist pedagogies, critical studies of decolonization, and racial justice. As we grieve for the victims of racist violence and institutional racism, we want to join the thousands worldwide who are lovingly and forcefully working for change. We have much work to do.
We will begin by examining our biases, reviewing our curricula, and listening to those who challenge us to confront racism in all its forms: our students, our colleagues, our Detroit community, and the global and scholarly communities that inform our research and teaching. We remember that it is from deep commitment to justice that true peace can arise. In the words of the Chicana scholar and poet Gloria Anzaldúa: “What we say and what we do ultimately comes back to us so let us own our responsibility, place it in our hands, and carry it with dignity and strength.”