Wednesday, August 14, 2019

An Open Letter to the John Jay College community: Responding to Weaponized White Nationalism

Friends and Colleagues in Academia:

Please read this statement on the El Paso, Dayton, and Gilroy killings put out by Professor José Luis Morín, Chair of the Latin American and Latinx Studies Department at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.  His analysis is sobering and spot on.  

I agree with him that there need to be campus-wide responses to this crisis.  Every corner of the university needs to demonstrate support for our students. As professors, we need to profess and profess these truths of our time, story, and history. We could all dedicate at least a part of our courses to understanding white nationalism and learning about the Mexican American and Latin American experience, as a whole.  

We could all lend greater support to our Ethnic Studies Departments, Centers, Institutes, and Initiatives.  Students should be encouraged to take our courses.  We should hire more faculty to teach these courses.  Our silence doesn't protect us anyway.

Neutrality is indeed the worst thing that we can do in this historical moment involving a resurgence of weaponized white nationalism.  As Professor Morin maintains, there has to be an array of institutional responses.  

Thank you for your voice and leadership, Professor Morin.

-Angela Valenzuela


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