“If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning.”
– Frederick Douglass, 1857
The undersigned faculty in the San Antonio College History Program join the Mexican-American Studies program in condemning anti-Black racism and brutality carried out against Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Nina Pop, David McAtee, George Floyd and San Antonio’s own Charles Roundtree, Antronie Scott, and Marquise Jones, among countless others. We understand that state-sanctioned violence against Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) is a phenomenon with a 500-year history in the United States. As we grieve for Ahmaud, Breonna, Tony, Nina, David, George, Charles, Antronie, and Marquise, we stand with protestors calling for justice and for an end to 500 years of systemic oppression.
AS HISTORIANS, WE KNOW THAT:
Anti-Black racism is embedded in the history of the United States, global imperialism, and settler colonialism.
Anti-Black racism intersects with and reinforces the oppression of Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ2+ peoples.
The history of policing in the United States is linked to slave patrols, vigilante and state-sanctioned border violence, Jim Crow laws, and the racially inequitable war on drugs today.
The United States was created through the enslavement and exploitation of Black and Indigenous People, and Black and Indigenous creativity, resilience, and resistance is also woven into the fabric of this nation.
The use of lynching as a tool of terror and racial control has never stopped.
The 2020 protests are also connected to the long histories of racial discrimination in housing, health care, employment, and education.
Statues, mascots, and commemorations that celebrate agents of racial violence re-traumatize our communities and must be made historically legible or be removed to make way for healing.
GIVEN ALL WE KNOW, we must speak out on our campus and in our classrooms against police brutality and state-sanctioned violence, and in support of Black Lives Matter. If our history classes do not grapple with the 500-year history of racial oppression in this country, then WE ARE COMPLICIT.
AS HISTORIANS AT SAN ANTONIO COLLEGE WE WILL STRIVE TO:
Decenter whiteness by acknowledging that history has long been taught as a story of White America that diminishes others.
Center and celebrate BIPOC voices, experiences and scholarship in our syllabi, course materials and classrooms.
Confront brutality in U.S., World, Mexican-American, and Texas History, including atrocities committed by state-sanctioned agents, including the history of the Texas Rangers.
Practice trauma-informed teaching, with an understanding that ALL students will need support and care while confronting our past.
Recognize and redress our role in educational and institutional inequities.
Amelia Serafine | Marianne Bueno | Lisa Ramos | Suraya Khan | S. Seabrook Jones | Karen Sebesta | Carmen Morley | Derek Kutzer | Catherine Miller | John A. Carranza | Deirdre Lannon | Erik Anderson | Sean Duffy | Louis Magnon | Frank Martinez | William Macaulay