Department of Ethnic Studies Statement on White Supremacist Posters of September 10, 2021

September 14, 2021

On the morning of Friday, September 10, posters were placed on campus with misleading and derisive phrasing about diversity. This phrasing has been used in the past by white supremacists and used by various individuals, groups, and institutions in the current climate with the intention to cause discomfort, division, and ultimately terror. Students reported these posters to faculty in the Ethnic Studies department. Their concerns and fears arising from the implicit violence of these posters prompts our words of acknowledgement and solidarity here.

These posters are a form of violence towards historically racialized and marginalized people, as well as a direct affront to the clearly stated and repeated campus goals of diversity, inclusion, and an equitable community. These posters also challenge and misrepresent the diversity work on this campus. In Ethnic Studies, we promote teaching, research and community engagement that seek to dismantle the harmful systems that segregate, misinform, and divide all of us signaled by these posters. Our work promotes and recognizes all by honoring the richness of values, perspectives, and practices in our community and the world.

We condemn the posters, those who post them, and the forces that seek to divide us. These posters follow a long history in which people twist inclusion into hate, education into propaganda, and the desire for safety into a call for violence.

We call for recognition of the harm and threat to students, faculty, and staff of color and difference. We respect the trauma communities of color experience from these misleading and divisive events. We invite a strong unequivocal response from all campus community members and those who stand in active solidarity with us. A demonstration of support shows a commitment and practice to care for those targeted by ridicule, dismissal, and misrepresentation. Join us in solidarity by downloading and sharing these Strength in Diversity flyers (PDF) demonstrating respect for diversity and inclusion.