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Anti-racism statement

Black Lives Matter! The philosophy department at the University of Oregon categorically rejects racism, white supremacy, and police brutality.

The philosophy department at the University of Oregon stand in solidarity with our Black brothers, sisters, and non-binary siblings against anti-Black racism in all forms. As a community of scholars who are committed to studying race and other voices in the margins as part of our core curriculum, we know that this violence is not new. The United States is built upon stolen and looted Indigenous land under the justification of manifest destiny and settler-colonialism. Furthermore, the infrastructure of this country was built with the stolen and enslaved labor of Black bodies. Racism is the legacy of this country that is still be carried out to this day. Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Justin Howell are just some of the more recent victims in the history of a system that was designed to uphold white supremacy.

Furthermore, as philosophers we recognize the role that some philosophy has had in a justification for past actions in this country. But we also recognize the incredible role the philosopher can play in a revolution. People like Franz Fanon, bell Hooks, Cornel West, Angela Davis and various other Black scholars have showed us through their words and through their actions the vital importance of standing in solidarity with Black voices speaking and working against racism on departmental to global scales. Black philosophers continue to do the work of their own liberation while dealing with blatant racism, discrimination, and crushing micro-aggressions. In this department, we are committed to protecting and celebrating our Black professors, graduate students, undergraduate and staff. The work before us require herculean effort; however, racial justice can only be achieved by understanding the breadth and depth of white supremacy and working together to radically shift the balance of power. We cannot ever be complacent. We must fight racism in all its form. We must not be afraid to challenge and resist the status quo imposed by white supremacy. In the words of Fannie Lou Hamer, “Nobody’s free until everybody’s free.”

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