SooToday received the following letter from The Law & Politics Student Society Executive at Algoma University regarding the death of George Floyd:
As you may already know, on May 25, 2020, a 46-year-old Black man named George Floyd was killed during his arrest by the Minneapolis Police Department after an officer pinned Floyd's neck to theground with his knee for eight minutes and 46 seconds.
Many of us are deeply troubled by this tragedy and by the subsequent attack on those who call for justice for Floyd and Floyd’s family. We are reminded of the countless victims of similar tragedies in recent years, and reaffirmed in our belief that systemic police violence and racism are incompatible with the foundational values of free and equal political communities.
For too long, anti-Black racism has plagued our politics, our judicial systems and our communities. The Black Lives Matter movement has been a valiant effort to rid systemic racism from our society, yet it is on all of us to ensure we are doing our part. As a student organization, we wholeheartedly and unequivocally support this movement and stand alongside the Black community.
The LPSS is joining the global call for justice for George Floyd and all victims of discrimination, racism, and systemic police violence. We express our solidarity with the demonstrators on the streets around the world who are risking their lives in this struggle.
We commit ourselves to fighting injustice and contributing to a more inclusive and welcoming society here at home. We can no longer passively condemn these senseless acts of murder. We can no longer sit on the sidelines while our friends are persecuted by coercive and unjust institutions. We are committed to making real change.
To show our good faith in this commitment, the LPSS will be adding a new Diversity Representative position to join our Executive Council for the 2020-2021 academic year. The Diversity Representative will be responsible for coordinating efforts to ensure that our organization upholds our commitment to fighting systemic racism and injustice.
Students interested in applying should send a few sentences explaining why they believe they are the best candidate for the position to email@example.com before Friday, June 19, 2020.
We encourage others to follow suit by listening to those who have been subject to racial discrimination, and by safeguarding values like fairness, accountability, and justice in our institutions and daily lives.
The discussions and demonstrations sparked by Floyd’s murder should be a catalyst for broader political conversations that address these issues and create meaningful institutional reform. We can do better, and only collective action can take us there. By working together, we can build the kind of society that works for all of us, regardless of the colour of one’s skin.
The Law & Politics Student Society Executive, Algoma University