Friday, June 12, 2020
President Harvey Stenger
Office of the President
Binghamton, NY 13902-6000
A SOCIAL CONTRACT THAT BLACK LIVES MATTER
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.