MLL Statement on BlackLivesMatter and Systemic Racism

Author: Department of Modern Languages and Literatures
June 8, 2020

San Francisco State University’s Department of Modern Languages and Literatures unequivocally and forcefully denounces white supremacy and systemic racism.  We have now seen, once again, how these twin abominations deliberately target Black people and subject them disproportionately to violence, discrimination, and social injustice in the United States. It is outrageous to see how hegemonic power continues to attack citizens because of their skin color or origin.  These heinous attacks, fueled by white supremacy, must stop.  Hence, as educators and researchers, we stand with all BIPOC communities (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) in the Bay Area, nationwide and abroad, and with all those organizing and protesting in response to ongoing police brutality. The senseless murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, and Sean Monterrosa are only the most recent example of uncontrolled police brutality against people of color in our country.  

As a Department that represents cultural and ethnic diversity and embraces San Francisco State University’s dearly-held values of social justice, equity and civic engagement, we pledge to confront and expose all systems of discrimination that persist in our institutions and our society, whether based on race, gender or sexuality, and whether they are within the University or beyond.  More specifically, we recommit ourselves to dismantling white supremacy and racist violence in our curricula, research and teaching, and to offer a Safe Place for our BIPOC students.  We are conscious of the pernicious and ongoing legacies of colonialism and slavery in this country, and we fully recognize that these legacies underlie the violence against black and brown lives.  We, therefore, demand greater empowerment for all BIPOC students, faculty and staff, and we insist upon greater diversity and inclusivity in the hiring of faculty, staff and administration at San Francisco State University.