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Letter to the Sociology Community

Dear UCD Sociology Community members,

The events of the last week demand unequivocal condemnation of the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, as well as all incidents of police misuse of violence against Black and brown Americans. Such violence has recurred with frightening regularity throughout US history and is on display again during the current protests.

Members of our own academic community—undergraduates, graduates, staff, and faculty—have been directly or indirectly impacted by police violence. To them, we express compassion for the trauma activated or re-activated by recent events. Others in our community study (or have studied) police violence, and others still are uniquely positioned to comment on the historical legacy of state-sanctioned racist violence, alongside the myriad expressions of structural racism more generally. Their insights are critical to the dialogue now unfolding. To paraphrase the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the key question is not *who* killed George Floyd or the countless black persons before him, but *what* killed them. When we move from who to what, the blame widens and the responsibility grows.

We want to especially communicate solidarity with our undergraduate ​and graduate students who have personal experience with police violence and/or who have returned​ home to communities where resistance is being violently repressed — all in the context of a global pandemic that disproportionately affects poor people and people of color. As a faculty, we acknowledge the difficult circumstances ​our students face and we pledge to do what we can to support your continued education and to stand with them against racism in all of its forms.

-The faculty, instructors, staff, and graduate students of UC Davis Sociology. ​

* Worth reading is Chancellor May’s comments from last week.
* Students looking for support or other information about campus resources established to work with students experiencing stress can start at the Office of Student Support or Student Health Care Services.