As this group knows well, the killing of George Floyd didn’t happen in a vacuum and didn’t reveal anything new. It brutally expressed, once again, the vicious realities of racism, xenophobia, sexism, police violence and the impunity with which it operates, and social injustices that characterize this country’s past and present.
It is important to reiterate our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. We also know, however, that there is a wide gulf between words and action. Change is difficult, messy, and often uncomfortable. It requires our willingness to be honest, to keep fighting, and to stand back up in the face of temporary defeat.
The dehumanization of so many based on race/ethnicity, gender/sexual orientation, age, ability, religion, national origin, and socioeconomic status has become a recurrent component of our reality in the United States and around the world. In a chronic, shameful way, we often become numb to this despicable reality; at times, that numbness gives way to rage. Still, I am inspired to see the outpouring of protests and condemnations nationwide and I am hopeful this will pave the way for real and necessary change.
I am proud of all the work we do as a center and as a university. I urge everyone to take the time they need for their own mental well-being and encourage you to keep fighting for what we know to be just and right.
Ariel C. Armony (he, him, his)
Vice Provost for Global Affairs
Director, University Center for International Studies
Professor of Public & International Affairs and Political Science