Statement - United Against Racism
June 05, 2020 - 04:10 PM
To the Mt. SAC Community,
What happened to George Floyd was an outrageous miscarriage of the justice system. What happened to George Floyd should not have happened. What happened to George Floyd was not singular. What happened to George Floyd was inevitable. It was inevitable because everyone in our country has a role in correcting bias and inequality, and many have failed to do their part. Injustice is enabled to persist when immoral practices become routinized over time by passive people. We each have a role and can no longer wait for change to arrive. No one is coming to solve the systemic injustices embedded in our polity. Social justice is dependent upon our voices, our choices, our actions. We must stand together and act.
At a time like this, it is imperative that we continue to believe we will succeed in spite of tragedy. Martin Luther King Jr. believed we could succeed. John F. Kennedy believed we could succeed. Frederick Douglas believed we could succeed. Abraham Lincoln believed. Sojourner Truth believed we could succeed. Alice Paul believed. Harvey Milk believed we could succeed. Cesar Chavez believed we could succeed. A century ago, Mahatma Gandhi helped lead the way. Nelson Mandela has carried on the legacy. Malala Yousafzai still believes. There are many others.
Now it is time for us to step up. It takes more than inspired leaders like those above. It takes each and every person, working together, willing to speak, act, organize, and lend a hand. We must move forward with intentionality. The days of passive normalization of established inequities must cease. Hope and patience are not enough. Change requires action and a recognition from institutions and individuals as they evaluate how they can contribute to a more perfect union. A society built for, and in service to, a diverse nation.
As an institution of higher education, Mt. San Antonio College has a critical role and responsibility to the progression of a free and equal society. At Mt. SAC we renew our commitment to self-reflection, progress, and change. We commit to students in our Mission Statement and Core Values to provide an engaging and supportive teaching and learning environment for students of diverse origins, experiences, needs, abilities, and goals. We are obligated to live that statement out in meaningful ways. It is one thing for us to state that we choose to create an atmosphere of safety and support, but another thing to back that statement up by standing up to anyone who unlawfully harms others and by demanding justice for victims of all forms of oppression.
Justice means justice for all. If some are excluded, we do not have justice. We condemn systemic and institutional racism. We recognize that higher education originated in a system of favoritism and inequity and has historically marginalized ethnic and racial groups. On a campus such as ours, which prides itself on our diversity and commitment to equity, we must be clear in our rejection of racism and discrimination. We express our dissatisfaction with those who stand idly by and condone that pattern of oppression with their silence. We must actively work against racism and towards equity for our students and all members of our campus community.
We stand in solidarity with our neighbors who protest systemic oppression. We amplify their cause and voices. Together we are stronger. Together we can educate and facilitate a new path forward.