Our American Indian Studies program has provided this powerful testimonial in support of Black Lives Matter. A huge thanks to our colleagues who wrote this and shared it with the campus.
As faculty and staff of the American Indian Studies department of Palomar College, we condemn the state and police violence against our Black relatives. We affirm our commitment to social justice and stand in solidarity with our Black community at Palomar, Tom-Kav (Fallbrook & Bonsall), Tovalum & Shikapa (Vista & San Marcos), Panakare & Mixéelum pompáwvo (Escondido), Wahaumai (Guajome), Ahta’, Awilkilkil & Awi kuesaay (Rancho Bernardo), and all unceded territories.
We acknowledge the pain and anger Black communities are experiencing due to the policing and systemic racism that has led to the abuse and murder of Black people. We denounce the lack of accountability within the U.S. justice system and recognize that it is a product of a pattern of violent imperialism, settler colonialism and white supremacy. As American Indian Studies scholars and educators, we recognize that the roots of racism lie within an interrelated structure of inequity, and that the U.S. nation state grew out of these same roots. We denounce this horror.
We have a responsibility to fight for the well-being of our Black relatives. Black people, as displaced Indigenous peoples themselves, share a complex historical relationship with the Indigenous peoples of this continent including slavery, intermarriage, resistance, and solidarity. We also acknowledge the insidiousness of anti-Blackness in Indigenous communities throughout all our nations and communities in America, north, south, east and west. We are committed to holding ourselves, our relatives and our communities accountable when we perpetuate anti-Blackness. We doubly dedicate ourselves to the work of decolonization and anti-racism while maintaining and revitalizing Indigenous Nationhood.
We are here to listen, support and commit to concrete actions that contribute to the safety and well-being of all Black students on and off Palomar campus. We support the convened students, staff, faculty, administration and community representing the Black Lives Matter movement on campus and locally who have demanded major transformative change. This includes: a reassessment of the qualifications and training of Palomar Police and Security including race-conscious trainings; the hiring of Black Faculty, Staff and Administration who are engaged in Black Consciousness initiatives; the creation of a Black Student Resource Center; the auditing and reformation of academia including the development of anti-racist resource materials, trainings, classes, COR’s, & SLO’s, all while promoting anti-racist and inclusive classrooms, college spaces and engagement. And we can do more. This can not be solved by education alone. This is a time to hear the heart beats and voices of our widowed, fatherless, and suffering Black relatives. This is a time to learn and act with compassion, integrity and solidarity.
As we fight for Indigenous sovereignty, we also fight for Black liberation. We will continue to support and uphold Black student voices at our college and in our communities.
All lives matter when Black Lives Matter.
In solidarity and allyship,
– The American Indian Studies Department of Palomar College