The violent events of the past day in our nation’s Capitol are weighing heavily on us. While we all have been impacted in different ways by this tumultuous moment, we recognize the very real discrepancies of who carries the heaviest burdens – people who have been historically oppressed including the poor, Trans, disabled, undocumented, and BIPOC communities – and the drastic differences throughout history of who is allowed to protest and how the state responds to peaceful protests versus violent acts of insurrection. We send care and compassion to each of you with the fullest, and most sorrowful, of hearts.
Watching these scenes unfold – a confederate flag being carried into the U.S. Capitol for the first time in our recent history, a t-shirt on one of the occupiers that read, “Camp Auschwitz”, and uniformed police officers taking selfies with the mob – paints a deeply disturbing picture of this time in our nation’s history. This is what domestic terrorism looks like, and how white supremacy is empowered and emboldened in our country. This was an act instigated, planned, and carried out with intention to harm, disrupt, and disenfranchise. Writer, actor and producer, Azie Dungey said in a tweet yesterday, “Police literally worked harder to make sure a private company could build an oil pipeline on Native land, and to stop black people from walking through their own neighborhood asking politely not to be murdered, than to stop a few hundred white men from taking over the US Capitol.” The discrepancy of response to the seizure of Congress and the risks that remain if there is a lack of consequences for those involved only compounds what lies ahead for our country.
As the office whose purpose is centered in supporting and advocating for our most marginalized communities while educating all of us, it is important to call attention to the ways in which these unlawful, hateful acts and views impact each of us right here in our own community. Washington, D.C. may be 1,600 miles away, yet these events have local consequences, too. We must recognize the intimate connections between our own country’s history and our institutional history. This is a time where we can each reflect on our role and call to action as participants who are part of systems that must grapple with issues of social justice.
The footprints that led us here are centuries old. Voter suppression has been, and remains, an on-going battle for marginalized populations in this country. As a nation, we must confront this reality – that this too is the United States – if we are to continue the hard and important work of dismantling systems of injustice. We must unite our CSU community, as President McConnell has advised, as an antiracist campus and work to create a better future for all.
To those who have been on this journey with us – we thank you. This is hard work and we have a long road ahead. We hope you are taking time for self-care. To those who are seeing these events as a call to action, we welcome you and encourage you on this journey, which begins with educating yourself. With a diverse coalition of informed partners willing to intentionally step up, listen, amplify, and act, we can work toward a more promising future.
– Office of the Vice President for Diversity
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