The Chican@ & Latin@ Studies faculty reaffirms the Program’s commitment to social and racial justice on campus and in the broader community. In the wake of recent bias incidents around the University of Wisconsin campus, we call for full and deep solidarity with students, colleagues, and neighbors of Asian descent. As scholars of race and ethnicity in the Americas, we are disappointed but not surprised to see racialized fears about disease re-emerge during the COVID-19 crisis. Sadly, the rhetoric that links people seen as ‘foreign’ or ‘alien’ with disease and dirt has never ceased to racialize interpersonal interaction and public pronouncements in the United States. It is time for us all to cultivate good sense as we seek real solutions to public health problems and problems of social inequality that plague members of our society, irrespective of race/ethnicity/gender. We commend our colleague Lori Lopez, whose recent public statements on this topic set an example for all of us and highlight the ways we can all #WashTheHate. We also commend the thoughtful and swift responses by Chancellor Rebecca Blank, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion Patrick Sims, and Letters & Science Interim Dean Eric Wilcots. We encourage members of the CLS familia to participate in today’s virtual town hall meeting with the Chancellor. We also encourage students who experience or witness harassment and discrimination to file bias incident reports with the Office of the Dean of Students. Faculty and staff may file complaints with the Office of Compliance. These incidents highlight the importance of our work teaching and studying the legacy and reality of racial inequality and xenophobia in the United States. We pledge to continue that work as we adjust to drastic and catastrophic changes.
Mary Louise Gomez
Diego X Román