I can't breathe--again

May 30, 2020

I can’t breathe—again.

As we gathered our thoughts at having to address, once again, the reality of the brutal death of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, we must categorically condemn the racism, abuse of power and brutality that led to his death. Mr. Floyd, who pleaded repeatedly for his life—I can’t breathe—eerily evocative of the equally violent death of Eric Garner and so many other black lives, is yet another deeply troubling lost life that ought to serve as a day of reckoning for all of us. As a nation, not only have we not resolved the historically deep wounds of structural racism, inequality, injustice and violence in our country, but those divisions, dramatically intensified in recent times, significantly challenge our democracy. We know from extensive evidence that hate and racial violence have increased to frightening levels in recent years. Let us also bear witness to the fact that in a few months we will be marking the one year anniversary of the El Paso mass killings, one of the deadliest anti-Latino and anti-immigrant hate crimes of recent years; a year ago, also, the shooting in the Poway synagogue took place; increasing attacks on mosques, and many others. These sobering realities must continue guiding our educational mandate on equity and inclusion through meaningful collaborations and much needed healing. Our deepest sense of solidarity to the family of Mr. George Floyd. Our particular support goes out to our Black students, faculty and staff in these somber moments.

Sincerely

Marc A. Johnson, President
Eloisa Gordon-Mora, University Diversity and Inclusion Officer