AAUP@FHSU


Statement on Protests in Response to the Murder of George Floyd

The murder of George Floyd by four police officers in Minneapolis has unleashed a massive protest movement across the country. These protests, led by young people, are revealing years of pent-up frustration with racism and inequality. The militarization of policing in the United States and the unchecked violence perpetrated against communities of color by police who continue to act with seeming impunity, along with the promotion of white supremacy by the Trump administration, had created a combustible mix even before the COVID-19 pandemic added to an existing medical crisis and economic desperation, especially in marginalized communities of color.

Many have said that we need to have a conversation about racism and inequality. But a conversation is not enough. What we need is bold action to deal with institutional racism and inequality. While the lack of meaningful preparation for the pandemic has disrupted the lives of all Americans, the more long-standing lack of a meaningful response to endemic racism and inequality has compounded the impact of the pandemic on communities of color.

Clearly, looting and the destruction of property need to be condemned. But we also need to condemn the fact that only one of the four police officers involved in the murder of George Floyd has been arrested and recognize that Floyd’s death is just one more example of the senseless loss of an African American life at the hands of police. The actions of police across the country are enabled by political leaders who have failed to deal with institutional racism and inequality, and they also must be held accountable.

The AAUP supports the right of all citizens to engage in peaceful protests and calls for an end to police violence against protesters. We also recognize that our institutions of higher education have been part of the problem, but they can be part of the solution by marshaling the expertise of faculty and the energy of students in developing meaningful approaches to mitigating racism and inequality in our society.


AAUP Statement Regarding Charlottesville

Our hearts broke this weekend as we watched expressions of racism, anti-Semitism, and hatred on the University of Virginia campus result in violence. We are especially saddened by the death of one activist and the wounding of others. Expressions of racism and hatred paired with violent actions are not new in our country. Our history shows that marchers armed with guns and sticks, carrying shields and torches, and chanting Nazi slogans have but one purpose: to strike fear and terror in the hearts of people of color, immigrants, Jews, Muslims, and all who believe in a more inclusive America.

To remain silent in the face of hatred is to be complicit in that hatred. Therefore, we will not remain silent while white supremacists, emboldened by the rhetoric of the Trump administration, perpetrate violence and incite bigotry. After equivocating, the President has finally denounced the KKK, the Nazis, and other white supremacist groups. But he and his administration must do more. We call on the Trump administration to use all of the forces at its disposal to bring to justice those involved in fomenting violence and terror. Further, we call on the President and his administration to denounce all attempts to equate nonviolent protests like Black Lives Matter with violent hate groups.

We decry the violence, the discrimination, and the attempts to intimidate, silence, and harm our students, educators, and community members. We reject racism and white supremacy. We stand with students, educators, their families, and communities across the country working for equitable and welcoming environments where it is safe to exist, learn, and peacefully disagree and debate. We will work with faculty members, students, and college leaders, uniting and organizing with allies and in our communities to resist hate and fight for a just society.

Rudy Fichtenbaum, AAUP president
Henry Reichman, AAUP first vice president