Standing in Solidarity with Black Lives Matter

Jun 09 2020 Posted: 13:09 IST


The Centre for Global Women’s Studies stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. #BlackLivesMatter. What do we mean when we say this? Of course, Black lives have always mattered. In standing with this movement we recognise and condemn the institutional racism embedded in our societies. We, and particularly those of us who are White people and have been privileged by inequality, pledge to listen, learn, reflect and work to end racism in all its forms.

 As George Floyd is laid to his final rest today, we express our deep condolences to his family and particularly to his young daughter who will hopefully draw strength as she grows from her own words “Daddy has changed the world”.

 The very public murder of George Floyd has pierced the moral consciousness of people across the world, irrespective of race, gender and ethnicity. The very fact that it has resonated across different cultures and different people of colour shows the systemic and structural nature of racism that plagues our societies. Racism has increased the vulnerability of marginalised communities of indigenous people as well as Black Africans in countries spanning Asia, Europe, Latin America, Oceania and even Africa itself. Structural racism, born out of colonialism spanning more than 400 years, is a global pandemic that continues unabated. The pandemic of racism has quietly killed many Black people in the US and when it is coupled with an epidemic, it compounds the pain and suffering. In the US, Black and other people of colour have been disproportionately affected by the corona virus pandemic. When racism intersects with other forms of inequalities, it accentuates the vulnerability of women, disabled individuals, non-binary people and other marginalised communities.

 The fact that we can watch George’s death on camera is both heart-breaking and an essential element of obtaining justice. Justice for George and his family. Justice for all black people and other ethnic minorities in the US. Justice for all ethnic minorities across the world. This justice is not the prosecution of the murderers, although integral, alone. Justice can be nothing less than the dismantling of White supremacy and the advent of true equality.

As an academic organisation, the Centre for Global Women’s Studies, commits itself to explore more deeply the intersections of inequality, racism, and gender. We thus strive to ensure that our students are aware of the myriad consequences of structural racism, understand and take united action with BLM and other allied movements, and that we as an institution actively lead efforts to end structural racism in our own institution. We stand in solidarity with the movement in the US and with ethnic minorities all over the world, including Travellers and those interned in Direct Provision in Ireland.