Statement on White Supremacy, Mass Shootings, and ICE Raids by the Faculty of the University of Wisconsin Chican@ and Latin@ Studies Program (August 2019)

As scholars of Chicanx & Latinx Studies we rely on words to do our work, but we struggle to find them in the wake of the recent mass shootings by white supremacists in El Paso, Dayton, and Gilroy, California, and workplace ICE raids in food production plants in Mississippi. These attacks hit home, and they have taken a piece of us.  Nevertheless, as racist, xenophobic rhetoric echoes from the highest echelons of the U.S. government, we cannot be silent.  As so-called “lone wolf” attacks compound the terror that increasingly cruel, lawless, and lethal actions by immigration law enforcement are sowing in communities we live and work with, we must make ourselves heard.  As the brittle rage of the privileged drowns out reasoned public discourse, we must amplify the voices of those most affected by the rising tide of viciousness.  We, the undersigned faculty of the Chican@ and Latin@ Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, therefore express our solidarity with all people touched by white supremacist violence. We condemn such violence in all its forms and from all sources, and oppose those who would twist the history of the Americas to justify it.  In the face of such misinformation, we pledge to redouble our efforts to highlight the truth of our communities in the public sphere.

We recognize that although the state and individual attacks we see today are horrific, they are neither new nor unprecedented.  Rather, they emerge from a long tradition of violence by those who benefit from the exploitation of migrant labor, the expansion of U.S. imperialism, and the theft of lands held by first nations and people of Latin American descent.  As teachers and scholars, we pledge to make the University a resource for communities marginalized by race, ethnicity, gender and class, and to create learning environments on campus where students with roots in those communities can grow and thrive.  We commend the University’s recent initiatives to hire faculty devoted to the study of race, ethnicity, and indigeneity and urge our administration to strengthen and deepen its commitment of resources to this area.  We further urge University leaders, the Board of Regents, and other state authorities to take affirmative steps to support access to higher education for all Wisconsinites, particularly those who belong to groups historically excluded from our institution.  As our colleagues in the American Studies Association have noted, those who suffer exploitation and oppression are those who will teach us all how to survive and overcome. We ask all of our friends and colleagues to heed this wisdom and seek ways to take meaningful action for a more just and more peaceful world.



Armando Ibarra, Associate Professor and Director

Andrea-Teresa Arenas, Faculty Associate Emerita

Patrick Barrett, Faculty Associate

Jim Escalante, Professor Emeritus

Falina Enriquez, Assistant Professor

Alberta M. Gloria, Professor

Mary Louise Gomez, Professor

Paola Hernández, Professor

Michael Light, Associate Professor

Lori Lopez, Associate Professor

Benjamin Marquez, Professor

Rubén Medina, Professor

Almita Miranda, Assistant Professor

Alfonso Morales, Professor

Mariana Pacheco, Associate Professor

Stephen Quintana, Professor

Marla Ramirez, Assistant Professor

Carolina S. Sarmiento, Assistant Professor

Revel Sims, Assistant Professor

Lynet Uttal, Professor Emeritus

Kate Vieira, Associate Professor