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UW Chican@ and Latin@ Studies Program Issues Statement on White Supremacy, Mass Shootings and ICE Raids


in the wake of the recent mass shootings by white supremacists in El Paso, Dayton, and Gilroy, California, and multiple workplace ICE raids in food production plants in Mississippi, the University of Wisconsin Chican@ & Latin@ Studies Program has issued a statement saying that “these attacks hit home, and they have taken a piece of us.”

“Nevertheless, as racist, xenophobic rhetoric echoes from the highest echelons of the U.S. government, we cannot be silent,” they wrote in a statement on Aug. 14. “As so-called ‘lone-wolf’ attacks compound the terror that increasingly cruel, lawless, and lethal actions by immigration law enforcement are sowing in communities we live and work with, we must make ourselves heard.  As the brittle rage of the privileged drowns out reasoned public discourse, we must amplify the voices of those most affected by the rising tide of viciousness.

“We, the undersigned faculty of the Chican@ and Latin@ Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, therefore express our solidarity with all people touched by white supremacist violence,” they added. “We condemn such violence in all its forms and from all sources, and oppose those who would twist the history of the Americas to justify it.  In the face of such misinformation, we pledge to redouble our efforts to highlight the truth of our communities in the public sphere.”

The statement is signed by Armando Ibarra, Associate Professor and Director, Patrick Barrett, Faculty Associate, Jim Escalante, Professor Emeritus, Falina Enriquez, Assistant Professor, Alberta M. Gloria, Professor; Mary Louise Gomez, Professor; Paola Hernández, Associate Professor; Michael Light, Associate Professor; Lori Lopez, Associate Professor; Benjamin Marquez, Professor; Rubén Medina, Professor; Alfonso Morales, Professor; Mariana Pacheco, Associate Professor; Stephen Quintana, Professor; Marla Ramirez, Assistant Professor; Carolina S. Sarmiento, Assistant Professor; Revel Sims, Assistant Professor; Lynet Uttal, Professor Emeritus; and Kate Vieira, Associate Professor

“We recognize that although the state and individual attacks we see today are horrific, they are neither new nor unprecedented.  Rather, they emerge from a long tradition of violence by those who benefit from the exploitation of migrant labor, the expansion of U.S. imperialism, and the theft of lands held by first nations and people of Latin American descent,” the statement said. “As teachers and scholars, we pledge to make the University a resource for communities marginalized by race, ethnicity, gender and class, and to create learning environments on campus where students with roots in those communities can grow and thrive.

“We commend the University’s recent initiatives to hire faculty devoted to the study of race, ethnicity, and indigeneity and urge our administration to strengthen and deepen its commitment of resources to this area,” they added. “We further urge University leaders, the Board of Regents, and other state authorities to take affirmative steps to support access to higher education for all Wisconsinites, particularly those who belong to groups historically excluded from our institution.  As our colleagues in the American Studies Association have noted, those who suffer exploitation and oppression are those who will teach us all how to survive and overcome it. We ask all of our friends and colleagues to heed this wisdom and seek ways to take meaningful action for a more just and more peaceful world.”