As a 29 year-old, ice-cream-truck-driving, U.S. Army Reservesman fresh out of Boston College Law School, Edward J. Markey first made a name for himself in the Massachusetts State House of Representatives in January 1976.
The way that we produce and consume energy is dangerously problematic. Evidence of climate change in Massachusetts is clear. Sea levels are rising, extreme weather events are occurring more frequently, and pollution-related respiratory problems are common, especially in vulnerable communities.
I care. Didn’t you see my repost? The message being sent by most non-Black people attempting to act as allies during the wake of George Floyd’s death, as the international campaign for the Black Lives Matter movement is reignited — unlike ever before.
“In the wake, the river, the weather, and the drowning are death, disaster, and possibility.” Christina Sharpe, In the Wake: On Blackness and Being, pg. 105
Juneteenth celebrates the abolition of chattel slavery in the United States of America in 1865. As we commemorate the anniversary of this glorious event on the precipice of Independence Day, we implore you to reappraise the true cost of the American dream. According to the Declaration of Independence, all humans are guaranteed life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Instead, white supremacy has robbed Black Americans of their rights using lynching, sharecropping, redlining, voter suppression, mass incarceration, environmental racism and healthcare disparities.
Following the anger and sadness that many in the Williams community are experiencing after recent acts of police brutality against Black people and ensuing protests against systemic racism, many student groups and academic departments have taken it upon themselves to write and release statements that state their values, reflect on current and past events involving racism and lay out steps they plan to take toward a better and more inclusive future.
In solidarity with Black Lives Matter: Where the Record, and the College, have faltered, and necessary next steps
Breonna Taylor. George Floyd. Tony McDade. Ahmaud Arbery. Tamir Rice. Oscar Grant. These are the names of only a few of the Black people who have become victims of state-sanctioned police brutality. The deaths of these people are directly tied to the anti-Black violence that first brought enslaved people to Jamestown in 1619, and that has permeated this country ever since. This violence — a system directly enabled by white supremacy — is embedded in our nation’s institutional structures through mass incarceration, hyper-surveillance of Black bodies, economic inequities and inequitable distribution of wealth.
As I share into this space, I do so with trepidation. My hesitancy is not from the fear of saying the wrong thing, but from the feeling that I am unsure of my right to say much of anything at all right now. The pain people are experiencing in light of the ceaseless miasma of hatred and violence against black lives in this nation must be named – loudly and vigorously – but perhaps best by those living the reality of dehumanization firsthand.
On May 19, when President Maud S. Mandel sent out a campus-wide email announcing that Winter Study will be canceled and that students will only be required to take three courses per semester, the Williams meme page exploded with memes about the announcement. Although very entertaining, these memes reflect a shared sentiment of disappointment, frustration and confusion among students regarding the administration’s decision.
Perhaps one of the most devastating impacts of the global pandemic is how challenging it has become to collectively mourn the deceased. It is easy to become mired in what seems to be an unending parade of loss, but it is more important now than ever not to let the surrounding chaos prevent us from remembering and honoring loved ones who are no longer with us.
To the Williams College Class of 2020:
You are graduating into a world facing challenges unlike any we have seen in our lifetimes. A global pandemic is sweeping the globe, millions of Americans are unemployed, and our country seems as politically divided now as it has ever been.