Over the past week, there have been several more murders of black men by the police. We at Goddard, committed to progressive social change and equality for all peoples, have responded in different ways to these events. Below you’ll see a collection of responses from and links to various articles shared by members of the Goddard UGP2 community. This is how we responded, and this is what our community is feeling right now:
the weight of the daily assault of violence on our senses is almost too much to bear…too many black and brown bodies dead, too many lgbtq bodies dead, too many Iraqi, Syrian and Palestinian bodies dead, too many raped and terrorized…too much pain…
…the constant videos of death and terror posted to facebook and flashed on a continuous reel on the small screen – I don’t want to watch – it hurts, but I do, it is my responsibility to bear witness to the heart wrenching sobs of Alton Sterling’s son – if 15 year old Cameron Sterling doesn’t have the choice to ignore his father’s public execution than neither do I – if Philando Castile’s fiancee Diamond Reynolds can have the composure to film the execution of her man, deal with the cop who killed him with a gun pointed at her and keep her daughter safe then I must find the strength to attempt to see and feel what she saw and felt – the seconds/minutes where she documented their horror for prosperity – what’s true is it could have been me….Only last month images and sounds of guns blazing and battering rams breaking through walls to rescue mostly latinix and people of color trapped in Orlando’s Pulse bathrooms on Latin Night texting goodbye to their mother’s as they wait to die flooded the airways…too much pain…
Talking heads keep talking, politicians keep politicking while mothers, children, sisters, brothers, friend and lovers shed tears that are bottomless…too much pain..
i have no words of hope to offer because honestly I don’t feel hopeful right now….tonight my stomach is churning…the tears come and go…I feel rage coupled with deep despair and fear. This message is simply an acknowledgement that we as a learning community must grapple individually and collectively with what it means to live in a world where this is the status quo.
We will see each other in August and September at residency; tonight I have no idea how we will address and make visible the painful reality of it all and what it means but we will…
Ironic: over the 5 hours it took to pen this email as I obsessively watched the coverage of the protests around the country about the police murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile the breaking news became the sniper shooting in Dallas -five police officers killed, six other officers wounded -what motivated this attack is unknown thus far – another tragedy…what I do know is that we all lose living in an ” imperialist white supremacist capitalist heteropatriarchal state” (Herukhuti, 2016), it’s just that some pay more than than others and always have …..with love….muriel
7 men of color murdered by police in the U.S. over the last week.
—– Muriel Shockley, UGP Program Director, July 8, 2016
“Goddard requires all of us to engage in positive self-development, thoughtful action, and the articulation of a social and environmental context for our work. I wonder what those requirements mean for each of us and as a community right now. I wonder if we have the courage or fearlessness or both to make them mean more than a packet, progress review portfolio, or diploma. I wonder what that will look like in the days, weeks, months, semesters, and years ahead.”
—– Herukhuti, UGP Faculty, July 8, 2016
“this ability to be together and to acknowledge hopelessness in ways that are not silent. I am angry. I am sad. I am unsettled and frustrated. This week I am feeling the weight of the lies that I have been taught. The falsehoods that I have been trained to accept and to reproduce as I move through this country and this world in my white male body. I am feeling very grateful to the members of this community who have had the patience and care to awaken me from these deceptions, in increments. I love you deeply. I realize that my concept of hope, of action, is not free of the lies I have been taught, and I will have to learn what these words mean in the raw and waking world (again and again, in increments).”
- Shared by Pamela Booker, UGP Faculty, July 10, 2016: “Put on the Sleeves of Love” by Sonia Sanchez
- Shared by Muriel Shockley, UGP Program Director, July 8, 2016: “#SayHerName — AAPF“
- Shared by Diana Waters, UGP Faculty, July 9, 2016: “I’m a black ex-cop, and this is the real truth about race and policing” by Redditt Hudson
- Shared by Kristin Schwab (IBA ’16), July 7, 2016: “Advice for Black Folks in the Wake of the Police Murder of a Black Person” by Justin C. Cohen and “How to Raise a Black Son in America” by Clint Smith
- Shared by Kailina Mills (IBA ’17), July 7, 2016: “Curriculum for White Americans to Educate Themselves on Race and Racism — from Ferguson to Charleston” by Jon Greenberg and “A Multi-Level Bayesian Analysis of Racial Bias in Police Shootings at the County-Level in the United States, 2011–2014” by Cody T. Ross
- Shared by Nikhil Goyal (IBA ’16), July 7, 2016: “‘We need co-conspirators, not allies’: how white Americans can fight racism” by Rose Hackman
- Shared by Joseph Nontanovan (IBA ’17), July 8, 2016: “Asian police and the complicity of Asian Americans in anti-blackness” by Nicole Zhao
- Shared by Haviland O’Keefe (IBA ’17), July 8, 2016: “What You Can Do Right Now About Police Brutality” by Ijeoma Oluo
- Shared by Heather Sloan Gray (IBA ’16), July 10, 2016: “Something more is required of us now. What?” by Michelle Alexander
Along with so many more wonderful, thought-provoking, critical articles. These are only a handful of the ones shared within our community. This is what Goddard Is.
One thing that I read on a Facebook post — that my friend, Molly Waterman, wrote –really moved me. She’s not part of the Goddard community, but I want it to be shared here as well. Don’t say Rest in Peace for Philando and Alton. Say “Rest in Power,” as she did. Hopefully, whatever happens after death, they can have a power that they never had here.
Rest in Power, Philando Castile and Alton Sterling.
—– Kailina Mills, IBA, Level 5, Fourth semester Goddard student