“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
It is simply unacceptable that officials at the highest levels of our government deny the virulent and systemic ravages of racial discrimination in America.
It is simply unacceptable that Black men in America continue to be murdered and dehumanized at the hands of the police and others in America. It is unacceptable that others feel justified to blatantly and falsely accuse Black men in America because of the color of their skin. Just as importantly, it is unacceptable that Blacks in America continue to be the recipients of disparate treatment in every important economic indicator in America. This is manifestly clear in the form of desperate public housing, unemployment, food access and health care, just to name a few.
Until we come to an honest and unapologetic acknowledgement of the unassailable truth that being Black and Brown in America is a consignment to fear, intimidation and death in America, then we are doomed to repeat the past – over and over again.
George Floyd should be alive today. However, he is not because systemic endemic racism in America is still the order of our times. The recent events in Minneapolis, and indeed across this great country, have laid bare the undeniable truth that the color of our skin and not the content our character defines and ordains our outcome.
To be silent during this moment of crisis in our country would be an act of complicit cowardice.
If George Floyd cannot breathe, then we cannot breathe. The violence inflicted upon Mr. Floyd is “state sanctioned” violence inflicted upon us all.
In this moment of crisis, I want to take this opportunity to let the MCNY community know that we stand with justice and dignity. We stand with the rights of citizens to peacefully petition and voice their righteous indignation against a system that has clearly failed us. An assault on any of us, as law-abiding citizens, is an assault on all of us.
If MCNY is to fully live out the true meaning of its mission, now more than ever, the quest for social justice compels us to find appropriate forums and platforms where you, our students, can address and lend your voice to this most important subject, and hopefully to contribute to a more productive outcome to this crisis. I stand with all of you who are abhorred by the events of the past week.