“Where History Meets the Future”
A Statement on the Senseless Violence of Mass Shootings and Loss of Life
“There is a crisis plaguing this nation, and people of color - particularly African Americans - are fighting for our survival. We are impacted by the crucible of race and racism in America.” – Dr. Daphne R. Chamberlain
It is never easy to unpack the loss of life due to senseless violence. However, when that violence is fueled by anti-black racism, one must reflect on the roots of that violence and examine the landscape that birthed such behavior. Lest we forget the 1921 race massacre in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The politics of race in America is becoming an increasingly contentious conversation as anti-black racist behavior mounts and goes unchecked. As a result, the justice system appears to be a farce, and the performance of reconciliation disingenuous. After the Trump presidency and the heinous acts of violence that played out in our nation’s Capitol on January 6, 2021, anti-black hatred has spiraled into yet another level of viscosity. And, what took place at a Buffalo supermarket on May 14, further amplified the white supremacist movement in America and the devaluation of Black life.
While we mourn the loss of those lives in Buffalo, we sink even deeper into emotional distress as 19 children and 2 teachers were gunned down in Uvalde, Texas. Schools which are meant to serve as laboratories for learning are becoming centers for fatality. Children are not exempt from violence, and it is disheartening that the loss of these young lives will be placed on the political auction block as a bargaining tool not to propose and enact stringent gun control laws but to justify why Americans should bear arms. We implore our political leaders to enact gun control laws in this country to stop senseless killings like these and give Black and Brown children a chance at life.
Until we reckon with the fact that we are not yet at the threshold of freedom or equality, we will continue to experience racial trauma because of the ongoing assault on Black life - and our mere existence - in America. Tougaloo College cannot and will not stand idly by in times like these. We will remain vigilante and intentional in training pragmatic leaders who will be confident, empathetic, and transformational social engineers who are able to courageously navigate any space in which they find themselves. Tougaloo’s product - our students and alumni - are the reminder of the hope that lies ahead for a brighter future - one that truly reflects a just society.
Daphne R. Chamberlain, Ph.D.
Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and Social Justice
Carmen J. Walters, Ph.D.