Irma McClaurin, PhD

When white people in Michigan defied state & city regulations to protest COVID-19 shutdowns, without face masks and carrying automatic weapons, the police stood quietly and idly by. No arrests, no confrontations — yet these people were armed.

When unarmed Black people protest their outrage over yet another police-initiated death (murder) of unarmed Black men, the police come prepared to engage with tear gas and rubber bullets. These police actions are not just a response to the situation, they reflect premeditation and intentionality — an already planned attack against any Black uprising.

Amy Cooper knew exactly what she was doing. We all do. And that's the problem.

"Every white person in this country — I do not care what he says or what she says — knows one thing. … They know that they would not like to be black here. If they know that, they know everything they need to know. And whatever else they may say is a lie." — James Baldwin, "Speech at the University of California Berkeley," 1979

Bryan N. Massingale

Eighty years ago, the federal government drew red lines around Chicago's black neighborhoods and warned banks not to make home loans there.

Today, discrimination in housing is outlawed, and federal regulations are supposed to ensure banks lend in all neighborhoods.

Friday, June 12, 2020

President Harvey Stenger
Office of the President
Binghamton University
Vestal Parkway
Binghamton, NY 13902-6000


Dear President Stenger,   
I am writing in response to your Wednesday, June 10 Message to Binghamton University Community regarding recent effects of structural racism roiling the nation; namely, as you put it, the "disparate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color," "the horrifying murders of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery," and I add as well, a long list of African American, Native American, Latinx, and Asian American men and women murdered at the hands of law enforcement officials.

September 1, 2020 will be my thirtieth year at Binghamton University. During this period, I have witnessed tragically the hardening of racial hostility among white students, the intensification of institutional racism by campus administration, and flagrant displays of white privilege at all levels of campus interactions. Many appear clueless about the centuries-long histories of brutality, oppression, and exploitation of Native Americans, African Americans, Chicano/a Americans, and Asian Americans. We all know that structural racism is the undeniable underlying factor propelling police brutality all around the country, and that this brutality has been ongoing for over 400 years for Native Peoples and African Americans. We know that structural racism pervades this campus and the larger Binghamton community; and yet we are all shocked that anti-black racism exists, and that black people continue to be brutalized under the auspices of law and order.

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