Dear students and alumni,
We, members of the Department of Political Science at VCU, unite in solidarity with all those who stand bravely against white supremacy, who challenge structural racism in our institutions and who seek justice for the killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, James Scurlock, David McAtee and the countless other victims of racist violence and police brutality.
In responding to these horrible acts, we must not forget the broader historical and political contexts of racism in the United States—contexts that intersect with issues of policing and incarceration, and shape inequities in education, housing, employment, banking and health care.
Racism has deep roots in the United States. Those roots run especially deep here in Richmond, the former capital of the Confederacy. It is not possible to grasp the state of our nation, or our Richmond community, without recognizing the four centuries of violence and cruelty against African Americans that preceded this moment, as well as the disenfranchisement and marginalization of Black and brown Americans that continues to this day.
While the latest acts of violence were perpetuated against individuals by individuals, we believe justice requires not simply convictions in a criminal court, but the dismantling of the power structures of white supremacy, as well as the reform of institutions that reproduce and reinforce racial inequities. As we have witnessed in police actions in this city and across the country recently, the U.S. is not immune to government oppression and abuse of marginalized communities by state security forces. We believe if our representative democracy is to survive, it is vital that our government listens to, and acts upon, the grievances of disaffected people.
As educators, we recognize that, in order to achieve a just society, it is incumbent upon us to expose the institutional and structural forms of racism, to give a voice to and to listen to those affected by racism and to empower those from historically marginalized communities.
Bailing people out in central Virginia, from an organization working to end pretrial punishment in all its forms
(804) 601-4944 (if outside Richmond City jail)
(804) 291-8520 (if inside Richmond City jail)
Providing legal support for Virginia immigrants arrested in the recent protest actions
Offering COVID-related support for Richmonders struggling with job losses, supply shortages, and quarantines
multi-ethnic young adult hands raised in the air [View Image]