The murder of George Floyd has laid bare, once again, the abhorrent anti-black racism within policing in the USA. The video of the killing of George Floyd captured one instance of the racist and violent conditions that African Americans live with daily. The widespread hurt and pain of centuries of anti-blackness in policing and more broadly in society, forms the basis of sustained and powerful African American-led protests across every state in the USA.
In acts of solidarity, and in resistance to anti-blackness in the USA, and against carceral, colonial, and racist policing in many countries, protests have emerged across the US and around the world. The resistance led by Black Lives Matter, has also sparked wider anti-racism discussions and actions. Powerful efforts to defund and abolish an institutionally racist policing and justice system are gaining momentum in the USA. Statues that celebrate slave owners and imperialists are being toppled. Anti-black racism in education, employment, policing, environment and climate, and every aspect of society is being discussed and challenged in the USA and beyond.
As a group of scholar-activists, we stand in solidarity with George Floyd’s family, the families of others who have been killed or injured by police brutality, with the African American community, and with black, brown and indigenous peoples wherever they face racism. We condemn the violent repression of protests.
We will redouble our commitment and efforts to confront any racism through our lives and our work. We will intensify our focus on the often-marginalized issues at the intersections between racisms and the struggles for agroecology, food sovereignty and the right to food. We will work against the colonial racist logics that pervade agrifood and knowledge systems, perpetuate white supremacy everywhere and underpin the extractive relationship between the global north and south. We will especially look inwards at the systemic racism and white supremacy that pervades the institutions, universities, social movements and communities within which we are embedded and implicated.
The acts of solidarity and resistance against anti-blackness must continue, and we all have a role to play in that. As Angela Davis states ‘in a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist’.
Some entry points and resources are available here:
- Take Action: A List of Ways You Can Stand in Solidarity with the Black Community
- Read and support The Movement for Black Lives ‘divest-invest’ policy platform
- How to support Black Lives Matter, wherever you are
- On systemic racism and colonisation of food systems: Africa Says, “I Can’t Breathe”: An African Civil Society Perspective on Systemic Racism