The Challenge Ahead, July 8, 2016
The news this week of the police shooting of two black men — and the subsequent shooting of 12 police officers who were serving to protect people at a peaceful Dallas protest — has left our nation reeling. Today, we are shocked, saddened, and angered by all of this. There are no easy answers, other than to say that violence and hate are not the answer to anything. We join with all those who call for peace and justice — and reject violence — as any kind of solution to the difficult issues facing our nation and society.
Our challenge now is to find ways to come together as champions of social justice and the right of all people to live lives of dignity, free from fear, oppression, and mindless bigotry. We can only get there through peaceful action and example, rejecting the urge to scapegoat and demonize. In the words of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
Our hearts are with the families and communities that have been devastated by the events of this week. As a community of scholars, I ask that we seek ways to channel our own anger, dismay, and fear in productive and positive ways — to lend our support as allies and our scholarship and voices in leadership toward a world less divided.
Our Office of the Vice President for Diversity will host a brown bag lunch on Tuesday July 12, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., at the Diversity House, 645 S. Shields St., as a time when people can come together for conversation. If you are in need of support or want to discuss concerns in confidence, students are encouraged to reach out to the CSU Health Network Counseling Center at (970) 491-6053 or any of our Student Diversity offices, which are open during the summer and welcome all members of our CSU community. The Employee Assistance Program for CSU employees can connect faculty and staff with community counseling resources.
In sorrow at having to send this message — but in solidarity with all of you,
Dr. Tony Frank