A Word from the WIA #JusticeforGeorgeFloyd #BlackLivesMatter #CiteBlackWomen

The recent acts of racism in the US cannot be condemned in strong enough terms. These acts are part of a larger system of racial inequality in the US that has persisted for centuries. Early anthropologists were complicit in the creation of these systems of racial inequality and so we must be responsible for combating them today. We must recognize the purposeful structural inequalities in our system, call out the civil rights abuses perpetrated at the highest levels, hold individuals and institutions accountable for their actions, recognize that many of our institutions are still not welcoming or safe spaces for the Black community, and work to create a more equal and just society for all. In this, and all other instances of injustice, silence protects the abuser in power, and we must not be silent in the face of the great injustices faced by the Black community. The disproportionate experience of police violence, higher incarceration rates, and unequal treatment by the healthcare system, as highlighted by COVID-19, cannot be allowed to persist. As anthropologists we can promote the work and voices of our Black colleagues, as individuals we must educate ourselves on the experiences of the Black community, and as members of wider communities we must call out racism and inequality wherever we see it. For those who can afford to, we can donate to local and national organizations fighting against racism and bail funds for the protesters. We also urge you to contact your political representatives to express your anger over the devaluing of Black lives in the US, and discontent with a system that has not held perpetrators of violence accountable for their actions; and vote, because Black Lives Matter.

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