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viewpoint

On the murder of George Floyd and racial justice in America

| Wednesday, June 17, 2020

In response to the brutal murder of George Floyd and the subsequent demands for justice and change in the face of perpetual racism, the officers of the Gamma Delta Chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha strongly condemn police brutality and racism of any kind. We stand with the Black members of our Notre Dame community, and we are committed to action and perseverance within the Black Lives Matter movement. Justice must be delivered swiftly, not only in the case of Floyd’s murder but in every instance of police brutality against Black individuals. Systemic failure has endured for far too long. 

As political science majors, we want to emphasize that racial justice is not a question of politics or ideology. It is a question of morality, human dignity and of life itself. With each additional senseless murder at the hands of police brutality, inaction and silence speak loudly, and at a predominantly white institution, we must put great thought and effort into our responses. As individuals, creating change can seem overwhelming, but it is our responsibility to do so. Particularly as students studying the world’s governance, laws and political behavior, we are in a privileged place to educate and inform. This being said, we want to share some ways in which we encourage you to take action towards combating racial injustice: 

Educate yourself. Read books, listen to podcasts, watch movies and follow activists and voices in the Black community. Take classes that focus on the issue of racism and African-American history — there are plenty of opportunities to do so at Notre Dame. For those of us who have never experienced racism, this is a learning process, and we must push past the luxury of ignoring a problem we do not face. 

Donate your time and money. Every dollar matters to nonprofits, bail funds and legal organizations. Large or small, your donation is significant, and we encourage you to research what causes you can donate to in your area or nationally. Furthermore, volunteer at organizations that empower Black communities. 

Make your voice heard. It takes only a few minutes to call and write your representatives and elected officials, asking for change and accountability. You can sign petitions, research what laws and policies are in place in your hometown and urge those in power to take a second look. 

Have hard conversations. We are all too familiar with debates and differences of opinion as students passionate about politics. We urge you to engage in discussions with your relatives, friends and peers who may not understand systemic racism and its roots of injustice. While challenging people you love is difficult, it is necessary to affect minds on an individual level, in order to create worldwide change. 

Vote. We cannot overstate the importance of making your voice heard at the ballot box. Our elected officials truly have the power to make a difference on the issue of racial justice. Encourage everyone you know to vote, and help to register anyone you can. 

In closing, we acknowledge that our work is far from over. As officers, we are committed to taking the steps listed above, and to making our campus a more welcoming and inclusive space for the Black members of our community. The conversation does not stop here, and we hope you’ll join us in the fight for racial justice. 

Eleanor Gamble

president

Evan Nuñez

vice president 

Courtney Sauder

treasurer 

Gabrielle Evans

secretary

June 15

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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