SUBJECT: SOME RESOURCES AND THOUGHTS REGARDING THE PAST 2 WEEK
This is a slight distinction from a program statement, as I am speaking for myself here given the content of this email. And, to be frank, I hate writing these emails. I hate them because I hate the conditions that make these emails a thing even to write: another tragedy that no amount of statements, communications, or emails will reverse. And with my research, I am poignantly aware how these forms of communication feel like symbolic nothings, especially within the unrelenting pace that has been this semester, this year. From our conversations in class, in email, in the spaces between meetings, many of you have shared with me your feelings of frustration, of feeling numb, feeling exhausted, feeling tired. The New York Times talks about the term "languishing" as a way to name this (which you can read more here).
And yet, I'm writing this email because to not say anything, to pretend to continue our lives in silence, is unacceptable and dehumanizing. What is most important though is you, so if your capacity is at a maximum, skip to the end for the resources & events. But, if you are able, I would encourage you to read through the email and explore the links. Capacity is privileged: some of us, myself at times included, can set aside the news, can ignore the conditions and realities in which we exist. But for some of your peers— communities of color, especially the Sikh & Desi community and the Black community— this is not a possibility. Capacity, while privileged, is also collective so I encourage you to share in the heaviness and offer your capacity, if able, for communal care.
Like many of you, I kept refreshing my page Tuesday afternoon, waiting for the trial verdict of Derek Chauvin— guilty on all three counts. To be clear, this is not justice: the trial took place 330 days after the murder of George Floyd, that incuded hundreds of #BlackLivesMatter protests across the nation, with countless witnesses alongside the bravery of Danella Frazier to record the video, all while cities across the U.S. began putting in barricades and setting up National Guards in preparation of protests (that again, feel incredibly counter to what happened in comparison to January 6th). And while the trial resulted in a conviction, we must also recognize that the conviction could have easily not happened because convictions for police officers are very, very rare.
Alongside the trial, we have also had several mass shootings— over 50 since Atlanta— which has included Indianapolis on April 15 where 4 of the 8 victims were from the Sikh community. Their names include Amarjeet Johal (66), Jaswinder Singh (70), Amarjeet Sekhon (49), Jaswinder Kaur (50), Samaria Blackwell (19), John Weisert (74), Karli Smith (19), and Matthew Alexander (32). Again, much like the Atlanta-related communication I sent a couple of weeks ago, this cannot be separated from the anti-Asian hate: historical, systemic. The same hate that was the 2012 Oak Creek shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin. The same hate that propelled the Muslim ban and targetted hate of South Asians, Desis, Sikhs, and Muslims following 9/11, rooted in xenophobia (as Dr. Erika Lee describes here).
As we grieve Indianapolis, we also grieve the mass shootings in Omaha, Kenosha, and Austin.
During the past week, we have also continued to see more senseless deaths, murders, shootings at the hands of police. What feels especially heartbreaking is that many are children, young people. [Some of the following links include automatic video playing; I recommend stopping them immediately and not watching]. These children, young people, include Daunte Wright (20) in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota; Iremamber Sykap (16) in Honolulu, Hawaii; Anthony Alvarez (22), Travon Chadwell (18), and Adam Toledo (13) who were all victims of separate police shootings in Chicago, Illinois; and now Ma'Khia Bryant (16) in Columbus, Ohio who was shot Tuesday afternoon by the police after calling them herself because she needed their help. All of these deaths are unacceptable and remind us again, how horribly broken our systems are (which includes our own campus), how broken they remain, and how the work must continue.
Thus, as similar to my previous SAHE communications, here is some information, areas for deeper learning, as well as resources and advice for navigating, surviving. Many of these resources are aggregated lists, so much like the praxis of Twitter, a retweet is not an endorsement:
What next? What can I do? Things to consider in showing solidarity and taking action:
[As an update from the original email, I made a landing page to continuously update resources which you can find here].
Here to share in our capacities and this heaviness together.
This page includes tips, advice, and ideas put together by yours truly (hence the "me"). For more, check out "OUT-SOURCED" for curated resources that I find helpful, or scroll down for my WRITING BOOKSHELF. If you're looking for guides, check out TEMPLATES.
Writing is a craft. To sharpen mine, I read a fair amount of books, articles, excerpts, and more. At least for the books, here are some I've enjoyed.
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