*Editor’s Note: In response to nationwide protests in support of the #BlackLivesMatter movement and the fight for racial equality we've seen throughout the country, several Black student organizations at UT made public statements condemning police violence and demanding justice for George Floyd. This is a submitted piece, written by UT’s Black Student Alliance, which the Texan chose to publish in an effort to amplify Black voices on campus.
Dear fellow students, community members and public officials,
Foremost, the Black Student Alliance extends congratulations to all who found a way to finish a uniquely difficult and exhausting semester and wish that this message invokes feelings of not only inner peace, solidarity and support, but also hope.
The Black Student Alliance grieves the death of George Floyd, a Texas native, and deeply resonates with the nationwide sentiments of disgust, frustration and revolution.
On May 25, George was murdered by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. In the 21st century, it is inconceivable to believe that unarmed Black men, women and children still perish at the hands of the very establishments that are tasked with ensuring their protection.
We have witnessed the tragic and horribly unjust deaths of Trayvon Martin, Philando Castile, Oscar Grant, Freddie Gray, Eric Garner, Chinedu Okobi, Michael Brown, Breonna Taylor and, sadly, so many more.
We stand firmly against the continued violence against unarmed Black bodies.
We stand strong with the Black Lives Matter movement and the various demonstrations of unrest occurring throughout the nation.
In a nation such as this one, there are few more tragic events than the death of an unarmed Black man at the very hands of an officer who swore an oath to protect every American citizen.
The Black Student Alliance:
CALLS upon every police department across the United States of America to denounce the continued injustice of Black Americans under police custody.
DEMANDS our public officials pay attention, bring justice to the family of George Floyd and enact change that will protect our lives against the police.
CHALLENGES our community to voice its outrage to our elected officials and organizations. We cannot allow a blind eye to be turned to the persecution of Black bodies and must use our platforms, no matter the scale, to spread awareness and demand change.
DEMANDS that all non-Black allies and community members stand with us in solidarity and demand a change that affects more than just your personal lives.
To see change, we must stand together as one as we witness the plight of our fellow Black brothers and sisters.
The Black Student Alliance, since its establishment in 1980, has held itself accountable for uplifting and empowering our community with the ultimate goal of uniting the Black community.
As a firm reminder, OUR BLACK IS powerful, bold, smart, uniting, strong, impregnable, loving, unique, monumental, fierce, brilliant, eloquent, treasured and, without question, important.
Again, we send our condolences to the family and loved ones of George Floyd. May he forever rest in power and peace, knowing that the Black community will continue the fight for racial equity.
The Black Student Alliance at The University of Texas at Austin