Posted: Aug 31, 2020 - 12:00pm
The Department of Political Science at the University of New Mexico stands against discrimination, structural racism, and violence perpetrated based on hate. Jacob Blake, a black father of three was critically injured by Kenosha, Wisconsin, police, in what is only the most recent incident involving police departments and people of color. Earlier this summer, George Floyd was one of several unarmed Black men and women senselessy murdered by police and white vigilantes in recent months. Close to home, here in Albuquerque we have seen violence directed at members of our community who have used peaceful protest ast a means of drawing attention to the need to remove a statue honoring Juan De Onate who committed outrageous acts of violence toward Native Americans.
Although the disturbing reality is that there are numerous other examples of acts of hatred and violence that we could cite that have taken place over the past few months. As a department we condemn the racism, bigotry, callous disregard for human life, and state-sanctioned violence that has no place in our society and department.
We recognize that many of our students are among those on the front lines of this movement toward social equity and justice. We support our students' free exercise of their First Amendment rights, as these rights are vital to the protection of all other rights. We condemn any and all attempts by the governmental authorities to suppress our students' fundamental civil liberties, as well as the anti-democratic efforts across the country to suppress the voting rights of communities of color and immigrants.
Social justice, civil rights, and diversity have always been at the core of the discipline of political science. We see the current movement as an opportunity to learn, move the conversation forward, and more directly communicate these values to our students and the larger community. We recognize that institutionalized racial discrimination and inequality are present in American health care, education, criminal justice, and so many other systems in our society. To this end, let us use our collective knowledge and skills to find ways to better address systemic and institutional racism through our research, course offerings, teaching approaches, and student activities. We also plan to solicit feedback from our students on classes and programming the department could offer in the future. More information on these discussions and department activities will be made available this fall. In the meantime, the American Political Science Association has assembled some resources to address systemic racism and promote social justice at the following webpage that we encourage you to leverage for your own research and teaching efforts.