Dear Coalition members and friends,
We write today with concern and to inform. Many of you may already be following the unfolding events regarding racist, white supremacist hate speech incidents on Syracuse University’s campus. The story is being shared widely on social media, and we wanted to ensure that members not on social media are aware and have the resources to stand in solidarity with the faculty and students of color who have been threatened.
For several days, racial slurs and hate speech have been circulated on the Syracuse campus via graffiti, email, and text. Furthermore, some students have been confronted and threatened in person. For one full timeline of incidents, see this article in Jerk Magazine. An article by Aaron Randall and Jesse McKinley in the New York Times has detailed coverage and reports on a personal threat made via email to one of our colleagues, Dr. Genevieve García de Müeller. Gabe Stern of The Daily Orange published an article yesterday which includes accurate information from Dr. García de Müeller about the threats and about the University’s response or lack of response.
There is a Black Students-led sit in as well as other forms of protest being enacted in order to draw public awareness to these incidents and to put pressure on the administration to more outwardly act in protection of students and faculty of color (cf.their list of demands and consider speaking out in support of these student activists).
The graduate-student-led NextGen group has also published a statement of solidarity, which outlines several direct actions for anyone who wishes to show their support. This statement of solidarity also includes a robust reading list that makes visible the connections between the work we do in Rhetoric and Composition and the need for anti-racist activism in academic communities and campuses.
As described in previous statements, we are appalled by these acts of hate speech, institutionalized racism, and hurtful/harmful uses of public discursive spaces for the performance of explicitly bigoted acts.
The graduate student leaders in NextGen have outlined a set of direct actions that we encourage you to consider. The SU Department of Writing Studies, Rhetoric, & Composition shared a petition and a template letter that can be sent to SU administration in support of Dr. Müeller.
CFSHRC Executive Board
Patricia Fancher, CFSHRC Director of Digital Media and Outreach
Alexis Ramsey-Tobienne, CFSHRC Archivist