As millions continue to protest across the globe, a response to the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN, it is (and always has been) evident that the existence and persistence of racism, marginalization, and prejudice is still present throughout institutions of power in the United States, and throughout the world. The Assyrian Studies Association stands in solidarity and unity with the Black community and those engaged in non-violent action against racism and hate, and with all humanity who are working toward justice in honor of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, Freddie Gray, Eric Garney, Walter Scott, Amadou Diallo, Yvonne Smallwood, Randy Evans, Claude Reese, Clifford Glover, Keith Scott, Terrence Crutcher, John Crawford, Corey Jones, Philando Castile, Sandra Bland, Oscar Grant, Sean Bell, Tamir Rice, Mike Brown, Aiyana Jones, Alton Sterling, Jordan Davis and many more.
As the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote in his Letter from Birmingham Jail on April 16, 1963, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” The pain and grief being expressed is but a trickle to the flood of emotions of what has been felt by indigennous and marginalized communities for many years.
It is important to mention that the right to peaceful protest is an important part of American democracy and represents an honest frustration fueled by unending grief over systemic racism, especially in institutions of power. The ASA believes in the responsibility to seek truth, justice, unity, and peace - not simply for ourselves or our ethno-cultural communities, but for everyone, everywhere. The ASA stands with the many families of innocent lives lost in the hands of discrimination, hatred and racial violence.