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Letter From the Anthropology Department Chair

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Dear students, faculty and friends,

This week, in response to the groundswell of rage, pain and protest across the country following the murder of George Floyd by police officers, we witnessed yet another example of the grotesque will to violence, the racism and the white fear that remain central to modern America. Federal armed personnel were on the streets of the nation’s capital, police attacked protesters across the country,  curfew orders were issued across the Bay Area as in many other parts of the country. Police helicopters were circling over East Palo Alto and other predominantly Black, Latino and immigrant areas, as was the case elsewhere in the country.

Many students and colleagues are grappling with the profound sadness and anger that this moment brings forth. Yesterday, two of our colleagues in our Department of Anthropology, Duana Fullwiley and Matthew Kohrman, sent a powerful and moving statement to our graduate student community. With their permission, I would like to share this with the larger community of anthropologists and students of Anthropology at Stanford. 

As a department and as a community of scholars, teachers and mentors, we share the anger and the sadness expressed in the letter. We stand with the protesters and all those striving to address pervasive anti-blackness in the past, now, and in the future. We also support its call for a more critical engagement with the history and reality of racial violence and racial discrimination in America, and indeed, the world. We recognize that this task also begins with ourselves and our daily practices.

Please also read letter from the Anthropology Graudate Committee.  

Thomas Blom Hansen
Chair of the Department of Anthropology
Stanford University