Strategies for action and solidarity on our campuses amid contexts of state-sanctioned violence, repression, and hatred: a conversation

 

           In the short time that has passed since the November 8, 2016 presidential election, we have seen a terrifying combination of increases in reports of hate crimes, and the steady development of a presidential administration that emphasizes white supremacy, an anti-immigrant agenda, and general disregard for the lives of all people who are Othered by the white supremacist capitalist patriarchy (hooks, 1984). A report issued by the Southern Poverty Law Center states that in the ten days immediately following the election, 867 hate incidents were reported, from almost every state in the US. The majority of these attacks targeted people of color and Muslims, or people perceived by the harasser to be Muslim. A significant number of these incidents have occurred on university campuses (splcenter.org, 2016: 6).

            This panel is an opportunity for collective strategizing about how people working on university and college campuses in the US might be able to support students and peers who are the potential targets of such hatred and abuse. Incidences of harassment and violence are on the rise already, before the president-elect has even taken office. As such, those of us in relatively privileged positions, whether because of the opportunities granted through secure tenured employment, through a supportive campus climate, or though one’s embodied positionality within hegemonic social institutions, are in positions to challenge the violence and hatred that can be expected to continue throughout the coming presidential administration. Events on our campuses since the election confirm first, that many of our students and colleagues are very concerned and second, that they have reason to be. Campus protests began immediately following the election, as thousands of students nationwide held campus walk-outs, protests, and marches, and over 165 schools have called for their campuses to be spaces of sanctuary for immigrants. 

Ultimately, this panel will be a space to share ideas, brainstorm, and strategize collectively around the importance of support and solidarity for those who are most targeted by a presidential administration that is unapologetically white supremacist. We ask that panelists offer initial thoughts of no more than five minutes each, and then we will hear contributions from others in the room.

 

If you are interested in participating in this panel at DOPE, 2017, please email carrie.mott@rutgers.edu and arabysmyth@uky.edu by Tuesday December 13th. 

 

References

 

Southern Poverty Law Center (2016). Ten Days After: Harassment and Intimidation in the Aftermath of the Election. Montgomery, AL: Southern Poverty Law Center.  https://www.splcenter.org/sites/default/files/com_hate_incidents_report_final.pdf

 

hook, b. (1984). Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center. Cambridge MA: South End Press.

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