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Department Chair’s Statement on Anti-Asian and Anti-Black Violence

March 23, 2021

Dear AfAm Studies Faculty, Colleagues, and Students:

I write to affirm that the Department of African American Studies at Northwestern stands against racist violence and hatred. While many are just opening their eyes to the realities of racism, we know that it is systemic, endemic, longstanding, and ongoing. We stand in solidarity with the Asian American and Asian communities who are being vilified and targeted. We mourn with them as we struggle with them. We stand in outrage at the treatment of one of our own colleagues, whose vital teaching in critical race and whiteness studies has made him the target of racist hate mail and threats. We know that these things are connected. We know that the controlling images, stereotypes, ideologies, intersectional nuances, and strategies of dehumanization may be different, but they are no less treacherous, oppressive, and deadly. The work that we do is crucial for naming, analyzing, and fighting the interlocking systems—which include but are not limited to imperialism, racism, colonialism, capitalism and sexism—that motivate and perpetuate the kinds of violence that we are witnessing. As we do this important work, please also extend care to yourself and others. 

Mary Pattillo
Chair, Department of African American Studies
Harold Washington Professor of Sociology and African American Studies

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