These are historic times. We have been addressing an unprecedented health emergency all quarter. Many of you have persevered, heroically engaging your learning and teaching differently and on the fly. Many are graduating, perhaps with a historic opportunity to reboot and rebuild from the ashes of systemic political, economic, and ecological failures.
But the times are reaching historic proportions now: new civil strife arising from violent and pervasive social inequalities. We are learning once again how we are so diminished, so shattered, when the lives of our brothers and sisters are in imminent danger. The Department of Global Studies commits to joining the collective effort to build inclusive futures in our classrooms and our communities.
Our Black Studies Department sent a message to the UCSB community that I wanted to share with you (excerpted here). You can find the complete text here: https://www.blackstudies.ucsb.edu/news/announcement/460
Stay strong. Stay safe.
Chair, Global Studies
From the Chairs of Black Studies, UCSB
“As Black Studies scholars, teachers, and activists, we know the history—the context—of protest against anti-Black sentiment and actions that mark Black bodies as dangerous and therefore in need of containment. We know the history of our country’s deep-seated discomfort in recognizing Black people as victims at the hands of official and unofficial state sanctioned violence that send a centuries old message: Black lives do not matter.
We will not vilify and demonize protest. Without white supremacy, without anti-Blackness, without the persistent indignities that Black people continue to face in our country, there would be no protest. In 2020, we would not know Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd were it not for the tenacity of state supported violence against Black people. To that end, we vilify and demonize entrenched state sanctioned terrorism that Black people continue to face in our nation. “If there is no struggle, there is no progress” (Frederick Douglass, 1857).
In 1964 at the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, the remarkable civil rights activist, Fannie Lou Hamer, declared: “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.” It is in the spirit of Wells and Hamer’s labor in centering Black humanity that we offer the following: It is exhausting to confront the enduring nature of anti-Blackness in a nation that was built on the backs of Black people, where “liberty and justice for all” stand as our pledge of allegiance. It is exhausting to have to explain to Black children why they must tread lightly in a society where Black people are not afforded equal protection under the law, despite what the 14th amendment states. It is exhausting for Black students, staff, and faculty to summon the resolve to stand, to smile, to do what is expected of us, while experiencing such deep-seated pain. It is exhausting to write this, but we do so because we are committed to the cause of social justice. We embrace working to make our nation live up to its pledge of allegiance to all citizens. We stand firm and without apology in our resolve. We thank the UCSB community in standing with us and sharing in a cause that ultimately enriches all lives.
As Black Studies scholars and teachers, we would be remiss if we did not offer up two separate statements from the archives that we believe resonate so deeply today:
President John F. Kennedy's Civil Rights Address on June 11,1963
Gil Scott-Heron's "We Beg Your Pardon" (1978)
We know that many in our campus community also are affected by the recent events, and we want to express our care, concern, and support, and to remind you of resources that may be of help.
- Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) at (805) 893-4411 or by submitting a CAPS Services Request. Counselors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- Academic & Staff Assistance Program (ASAP) is available at (805) 893-3318 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Office of Black Student Development (OBSD): email@example.com