This is the moment.
During this tumultuous time, we have an opportunity: We can use our outrage, our anger, our sadness, and our sense of loss to push back against the systematic racism that has been deeply prevalent in our culture for far too long.
What happened to George Floyd and so many other black men and women is unacceptable, and we must work together to demand justice. We must uproot the oppression, police brutality, and racism that has been crippling our society for centuries.
Recently, San Jose City College (SJCC) President Dr. Rowena M. Tomaneng, in response to the killing of Floyd, sent out a letter to the school community, writing, “This single violent act hits home for many of us born and raised in communities of color precisely because it is not a single violent act. It is a manifestation of structural racism. It is, in fact, the reason many of us took up the cause of equity, opportunity, and social justice in education.”
SJCC’s Ethnic Studies Department also prepared a statement, which read in part:
“George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Sean Reed, Tony McDade, and Ahmaud Arbery are among the countless Black people who were recently murdered due to persistent anti-Blackness and racist, targeted state sanctioned violence.
“The vision and mission of our District includes advancing opportunity, equity, and social justice. As educators, leaders, and community workers, our voices and efforts are fundamental in this advancement.”
Here at the Extension and at our main campus, we stand by our black brothers and sisters. We will continue being an inclusive and welcoming space for all.
If you would like to take action, please read this enlightening list prepared by Dr. Cindy Huynh, on behalf of the Ethnic Studies Department…
1) Contribute to grassroots organizations that are currently on the ground protesting and supporting protesters including the Minnesota Freedom Fund, Black Visions Collective, Louisville Community Bail Fund, Columbus Freedom Fund as well as local police accountability efforts through Silicon Valley DeBug.
2) Support the petitions and memorial funds seeking justice for George, Breonna, Sean, Tony, and Ahmaud.
3) Help to protect local protesters by providing them with needed supplies including water, food, masks, unmarked clothing, hand sanitizer, and bottles of baking soda with water to help neutralize tear gas.
4) Be mindful of your language. Words like riot, rioting, rioters, looting, and looters are racialized and used to criminalize Black communities. Consider others words like uprise, uprising, and uprisers. To uprise is to ascend--it is the practice of standing up against violence and one’s own and community’s dehumanization.
5) Share information about local Black mental health, support, and community services from Ujima Family Recovery Services, Black Leadership Kitchen Cabinet of Silicon Valley,and the African American Community Services Agency of San Jose.
6) Listen to Black people with humility and raw openness.
Director, College Extension
San José City College - Milpitas College Extension