Statement in Solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives

Statement of Solidarity

Department of Race and Resistance Studies, SFSU

June 2020

The Department of Race and Resistance Studies (RRS) condemns the systemic violence against Black people by the very governments and entities sworn to protect them. Murdering Black people with impunity must stop now! David McAtee, Patrick Underwood, Tony McDade, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery are the latest victims of unspeakable and indefensible hate crimes. We will not allow them to become mere statistics.

Anti-blackness and hate against people of color has ruled this land for over four centuries, creating and condoning violence. This is immoral, illegal and inexcusable. We are witnessing the death throes of out-of-control, predatory racial capitalism that must be eradicated. It is time for those that support and profit from this racist system to stop. The havoc they normalize has caused unimaginable grief and despair at home and abroad, as they empower fascists, white supremacists, and Nazi sympathizers to enact their doctrines of hate. Enough is enough!

RRS studies the race-related processes underlying social problems and the diverse struggles for social justice. We use a comparative and relational approach, recognizing that communities do not exist in isolation from one another and that racial formations are complex. We thus recognize that dismantling corrupt ruling systems is no easy task. It will take extreme effort on a number of levels, including political engagement and activism across all boundaries. We must organize to confront the powers that be that have been so entirely ineffective in making change. We must not be distracted by shallow consumerism, performative allyship, or the gaslighting that the right-wing spins with the cooperation of corporate media. The real looters and criminals are in the White House, Congress, and corporate backrooms. They will be held accountable. This is not a partisan issue; we need sweeping change. Apathy has held justice at bay for too long.

Now is the time for comradeship. We, in RRS, drawing upon the spirit of 1968 and Mayan principle of En Lak’Ech (You are my Other Me), recognize that we are all connected. There is no freedom without Black liberation. And we fully acknowledge this moment of crisis is but one intimately connected to a larger and longer history of struggle. Over fifty years ago, the Third World Liberation Front at San Francisco State University poignantly declared to the world, “We seek, as members of the TWLF, simply to function as human beings, to control our own destinies. Initially, following the myth of the American Dream, we worked too hard to attend predominantly white colleges, but we have learned through direct analysis that it is impossible for our people, so-called minorities, to function as human beings in a racist society in which white always comes first and anything else is synonymous with enemy, no matter what the attainment, educational or otherwise. So we have decided to fuse ourselves with the masses of Third World people, which are the majority of the world’s peoples, to create, through struggles, a new humanity, a new humanism, a New World Consciousness, and within that context collectively control our own destinies.”

In our teaching, in our scholarship, and in our organizing within our communities we commit to deepening those solidarities and the necessary work to advance those struggles that can, at long last, realize this revolutionary humanism and future for our Peoples here and across the globe.