The faculty and staff of the Department of American Ethnic Studies express our sincere grief and condolences for lives lost in Israel and Palestine and the ongoing humanitarian crisis. We stand in solidarity with groups working for peace and justice, as well as with our students and community members who are afraid and mourning. We reject the notion that naming the dead and contextualizing contemporary events in a much longer history of colonization and occupation is an endorsement of the suffering of any. It is our ethical responsibility as educators to teach histories of marginalization and colonialism without fear of physical harm or other reprisals. We call on our administration to challenge the suppression of speech and the expression of grief.
As a department, we are grounded in a “strong focus on issues of social justice, equality, and civil and human rights—especially as this pertains to those US groups that have been historically subjected to exclusion and marginalization.” We are committed to “social justice values and practices that seek to eradicate systems of racism and other social, economic, environmental, and political inequalities.” As such, we cannot sit silently as the United States intensifies and exacerbates the conditions of war and genocidal retaliation against Palestinians who have been subjected to colonial violence, dispossession and internment for well over a half-century in Gaza and the West Bank. We cannot afford to look away at the scale of devastation that has been enabled by U.S. funding of military aid and intervention. We are devastated by the ongoing loss of all lives.
Thousands of Jewish Americans are leading protests in our nation's capital in solidarity with Palestinians to call for an end to apartheid and, at the very minimum, a ceasefire. We stand in solidarity with protestors all over the globe who are raising their voices against empire and genocide. May we all find the courage to stand for peace and human freedom for all, including nearly 2 million Palestinians in occupied territory, half of whom are children. Our humanity depends on it.
This statement does not represent the official view of the University of Washington.
AES Faculty & Staff
Devon G. Peña
La TaSha Levy
Linh Thủy Nguyễn
Connie C. So
Jang Wook Huh
Lorna T. Hamil