The recent shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin is a stark reminder of how fragile black and brown lives are in America and around the world.
Mr. Blake was repeatedly shot in the back by local police while trying to enter a vehicle, which at the time was occupied by three of his sons, ages 3, 5, and 8. At the time of the shooting, Mr. Blake was unarmed. The shooting has left Mr. Blake paralyzed from the waist down, and it has sparked several nights of protests, which have unfortunately resulted in the additional shooting and killing of two unarmed protesters by armed white civilians.
We as a community should be asking why this continues to happen in the United States of America. Reacting to the looting and violence, without first reacting to the shooting that led to the chaos, is hypocrisy at the very least. We have become desensitized to the continued disregard for the rights and lives of our black and brown citizens. We cannot allow this to continue if we are going to flourish as a nation.
Mr. Blake's family has a storied history. His grandfather, the Rev. Jacob Blake Sr., led the fight for fair housing in Evanston throughout the 1960s and '70s and led the Ebenezer AME Church congregation. He organized marches following the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. that eventually led Evanston City Council members to ban racial discrimination in housing.
We ask that you stand in solidarity with us and demand justice for Mr. Blake and his family. We condemn systemic racism and the unjust murder of black and brown citizens. We demand that those who are guilty be brought to justice.
Dean of Student Life
Chair, DEI Task Force