Dear Cornell Law School,
Cornell Law School’s Latino American Law Students Association (LALSA) and Native American Law Students Association (NALSA) mourn for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Ahmaud Arbery. We mourn for the countless victims of racism and police brutality across the United States. Since these protests have begun, four others have also been the victim of senseless violence: David McAtee, Chris Beaty, Calvin L. Horton Jr., and James Scurlock.
We stand in solidarity with the Black Law Students Association and their statement in support of the ongoing protests and fight for justice that continues across the United States. Our three student organizations — BLSA, LALSA, and NALSA — have a longstanding allyship. LALSA and NALSA remain committed to supporting and standing alongside BLSA and the Black community in the fight for equal justice.
How can we channel our anger and frustration into working towards change? Latinx and Native peoples are in a position to both assist in the fight for equal justice while attacking anti-Black prejudice in our own communities. We must start by recognizing that anti-Black racism is integral in the foundation of this country and that non-Black POC are weaponized against the Black community.
We must amplify Black voices in our communities and work spaces. We must educate and share resources on systemic racism within our communities and with our peers. We will not let the momentum stop and allow George, Breonna, Tony, and Ahmaud’s names to solely become hashtags. As BLSA stated: “To remain silent — to remain neutral — is to side with our oppressors. Your silence is violence. Publicly demand equality, justice, and safety for us.”
Now is the time to donate, listen to and read Black voices, and have conversations with those in your communities. Contact your local representatives and demand concrete policy change:
Do not become desensitized to violence. Do not remove yourself when awareness becomes uncomfortable. Instead, continue to educate yourself on ways to make active change. Black Lives Matter.
The Latino American Law Students Association and The Native American Law Students Association at Cornell Law School