For the majority of this term, the most commonly voiced desire within our community has been a return to normalcy. The murder of George Floyd is a stark reminder that the last thing we need is a return to the status quo. Normal has been built on systemic violence and oppression. It has been built on vested interests determined to maintain that oppression.
Today we stand in solidarity with those demanding justice and those insisting that we examine our history of racism, bigotry, and xenophobia.
Freddy Gray, Amadou Diallo, William Chapman II, Sam Dubose, Philando Castile, Terence Crutcher, Alton Sterling, Jamar Clark, Jeremy McDole, Walter Scott, Eric Harris, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and far too many others mattered, but not in the eyes of the law. Today, I ask you to join me and the rest of the Explorations Academy team in stating unequivocally that Black Lives Matter.
We recognize the power that comes from standing up to demand justice and seeing so many others do the same across the world blasted on social media, but we also know that it will take more than social media to arrive at social justice. Personally, I have increased my reading of books connected to better understanding the Black experience in America and the role that I can play in promoting equality. The most powerful book that I have read recently is Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, and I just ordered White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Robin DiAngelo. The staff and I will be updating the reading list on the Summer Reading Challenge throughout the summer as we all dive into additional books on the topic.
Bacchus and the Explorations Academy Team