SOLIDARITY WITH BLACK LIVES MATTER: JOINT STATEMENT OF SUPPORT

Minorities and Philosophy Oxford
Philiminality Oxford
people for womxn* in philosophy
oxford public philosophy


Minorities and Philosophy Oxford, Philiminality Oxford, people for womxn* in philosophy, and oxford public philosophy strongly condemn the murder of George Floyd by the Minnesota Police. This abhorrent behaviour is neither the first instance of police violence against Black members of society, nor is it an isolated incident. Unwarranted and disproportionate police action against Black people have gone on for a long time, ranging from outright murders to disproportionate numbers of stops and searches.

We echo the call of Black Lives Matter and other anti-racist movements that justice must be done. We additionally affirm these movements’ call for substantial institutional reform and societal changes, including in relation to the police. The problems facing Black members of society are systemic and institutional, as highlighted by this and other recent incidents — including how public officials have responded to the murder of George Floyd and subsequent protests. These issues are not restricted to the United States; they are a UK problem, and they are global. While the UK police are generally unarmed, Black people here too face highly elevated levels of harassment and brutality.

Institutional racism is not confined to police violence, but comes in many forms. One important aspect — and one which Black and other minority members constantly grapple with — is the systematic and continued exclusion from various facets of society, including from the university system. This exclusion has far-ranging implications for how universities relate to members of these minorities, and who is taken to possess appropriate standing to produce knowledge.

Various groups in Oxford are doing valuable and much-needed work exposing and counteracting these problems, including ​Rhodes Must Fall Oxford​, ​Common Ground​, Uncomfortable Oxford​, ​Race and Resistance,​ and the ​African & Caribbean Society.​ At the same time, institutions should not rely upon the emotional and unpaid labour of minority groups to advance change. We require a pro-active institutional response that directly confronts the systemic injustices faced by minority groups in Oxford and beyond, and that results in concrete and significant changes that centre Black students, Black faculty, and Black intellectual heritage.

Even closer to home: academic philosophy has long been charged with institutional racism and the exclusion of the voices of minorities and women. Among other problems in Oxford: the history of Euro-American philosophy is taught as if it were the history of philosophy in its entirety (apart from a new, specialist paper on Indian philosophy, limited to ten students); there is no paper on the philosophy of race; and minority members, and in particular Black people, are severely underrepresented in faculty reading lists and amongst staff and students.

Minorities and Philosophy Oxford, Philiminality Oxford, people for womxn* in philosophy, and oxford public philosophy stand in solidarity against anti-Blackness, and in addition support all anti-racist activists and ongoing decolonisaton efforts. We are committed to changing the university, and to supporting the work of Black Lives Matter and anti-racist movements more widely.

In Solidarity,

Minorities and Philosophy Oxford
Philiminality Oxford
pwip – people for womxn* in philosophy
oxford public philosophy

APPENDIX​: ​Some Existing Philosophy of Race and Anti-Racism Resources

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