Marquette University Student Government released the following statement regarding its stance on Black Lives Matter and racial injustice in the United States:
Black Lives Matter.
We say their names.
To the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Botham Jean, Stephon Clark, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Jamar Clark, Freddie Gray, Walter Scott, Tamir Rice, Laquan McDonald, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Milwaukee’s own Dontre Hamilton and countless others who were not shown the outrage necessary surrounding their tragic losses fueled by racism and hate, we stand in solidarity with you.
To our Black Marquette students, we grieve with you.
First, we acknowledge that the Marquette community is not immune to these acts of racism due to the privileges our community members possess, and we must call out the individuals that discriminate against and degrade members of our family. Marquette students have an obligation to thoughtfully acknowledge the context in which our university is physically situated and work for and with the community around us for a more just, equitable society. Demonstrations of hate have no place on our campus or in our world, and we all have an obligation to do better.
Next, as a Catholic Jesuit university, we must acknowledge that thoughts and prayers are only the foundation to our actions moving forward. We appreciate the university’s effort to stand in solidarity with the Black community with the Prayer to End Racism and we encourage students to engage in such events. However, beyond prayer, we have an obligation to take concrete steps toward equality. We urge the administration at Marquette University to continue to work with our Black students to provide them with the resources they need to have a safe Marquette experience.
This is no time for complicity. We must hold our Marquette community accountable by calling out acts of racism, xenophobia, transphobia and other oppressive behaviors by administration, faculty, staff and students. The Marquette community must learn to give space and amplify the voices of our community members who have been historically silenced. We have an obligation to create a community that will listen, understand and take action when something is unjust.
These steps may look different for each individual, and we will not prescribe what we think Black students need. Rather, we have and will continue to listen to and work with Black Student Council and Black students on campus to actively support their efforts.
It is understandable that not everyone can physically participate in the protests occurring across the nation. With that being said, we want to call attention to the multitude of other ways to make an impactful contribution, including, but not limited to: donating to organizations that uplift the Black community, calling representatives and lawmakers, and self-education. MUSG will continuously work to improve upon how we advocate for Black students and underrepresented populations on campus. We will continue to share tools with the Marquette community that help to combat systemic racism and support communities who are directly affected by it.
With and for Black lives,
MUSG Executive Board