Message From the Dean: Grappling With the Tragedy in Buffalo Some thoughts in the aftermath of a mass shooting in which Black people at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, were targeted
To the Luskin Community:
Let me echo the Chancellor’s comments in this BruinPost regarding the events in Buffalo. More than a dozen people shot, 10 killed, in another explicitly racist attack by a gunman intent on killing African Americans. And let me augment the chancellor’s remarks by reminding us all that just three days earlier, in Dallas’ Koreatown, three Asian women were injured in a mass shooting that is now ruled part of a string of anti-Asian hate attacks on Asian-run businesses across Dallas, and a growing record of anti-Asian hate up more than 300% in the last year.
These attacks occur at the intersection of two of America’s most grievous plagues — the ongoing scar of racism in too many forms to count, and the seemingly endless capacity for gun violence. I am angry. Perhaps you are too. I am angry because neither of these struggles is occurring by chance, in a social vacuum, emerging un-prompted from other social phenomena. Rather, these emerge from explicit ideologies of white supremacy and entitlement to the means of deadly force which are promoted — previously with a wink and a nod and increasingly with shameless embrace — by political forces who think they can manipulate these evils to their own political gain.
I will not stay silent in these moments. The parroting of racist conspiracy theories by elected officials inspire, encourage, and provide emotional justification for the evil and the disturbed in our society to carry out these attacks. They are not isolated social phenomena and we should never treat them as such.
I do not have the right words of comfort here, other than to remind you that there are services available on campus (see links in the Chancellor’s message) for those of you grappling with these events. And I want you to take comfort in each other in knowing that the forces of light — those of us who would resist, battle, engage the forces of divisiveness and hate — are stronger. The good outweighs the bad, those motivated to peace and coexistence have right on our side. Our work at Luskin is explicitly dedicated to empowering those with solutions and stopping those interested only in destruction and nursing their resentments. Meet violence with determination for change. Speak out. Shout out. Work harder to create justice.
In solidarity and sadness,
Gary M. Segura
Professor and Dean
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