We, the faculty and staff of the UNC Charlotte Department of Philosophy, condemn the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, and all other ongoing assaults against Black life and futurity. As scholars, educators, and activists who take a public role through our writing, teaching, and organizing work, we understand that the systemic violence wrought on Black communities in this settler nation calls for collective forms of responsibility and action. Thus, we see ourselves as directly called to name, critique, and dismantle the institutional and everyday patterns of harm that Black communities face in our department, our university, our city, our profession, and beyond. These harms include, among others, structural healthcare injustices, hyper-policing and state-sponsored brutality, disproportionate sentencing and wrongful convictions, orchestrated poverty and exploitation, systemic anti-Black sexism and sexual violence, and the many other micro-aggressions and daily diminutions of Black life that continue to exhaust, insult, marginalize, and devalue Black communities. Against this patterned violence, we stand in solidarity with the protesters in Charlotte and those across the globe who are demanding a future that affirms Black life and a more just world for all those who face marginalization, oppression, and systemic differential vulnerability. Recognizing the dangers of discussing Black people only in relation to social, civil, and physical death, we also reaffirm our commitment to the study of Black philosophical traditions.
In the wake of the March 2021 spa shootings in Atlanta, GA, we join our college (CLAS) in asserting:
We cannot move in the name of social justice and eliminating anti-Black racism without acknowledging and denouncing the hateful, violent, and deadly acts against Asian and Asian Americans which has increased dramatically over the last two years, and has accumulated into the killing of 8 people, including 6 Asian women in Atlanta, Georgia, on March 16. CLAS's Race and Social Justice initiative is in its early stages of identifying and rooting out systemic racism within our College and building policy to protect all members from injustice based on any social category. We stand with our students, faculty, administrators, and staff of Asian descent and stand against hate, xenophobia, and any acts of injustice which targets this community.
For more on how the UNC Charlotte Department of Philosophy considers our support for Black lives and other historically oppressed groups as connected to our work as philosophers, see our statement on Practicing Philosophy Today.