Solidarity from the scientific community at UCSD
This letter was sent today to Chancellor Fox from community members in the Scripps Oceanography Institute.
We, the community of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UCSD, will not tolerate racism or hate at our school. This institution is a place of higher learning for people of all ethnicities, socioeconomic standings, genders, religions, and sexual orientations. Brilliance knows none of these boundaries, and we actively reject discrimination based on any of these personal identifying backgrounds. The purpose of this letter is to unite SIO in support of the individuals who feel hurt by recent racist acts, and to ask that administrators recognize the need to actively mend the rifts these acts have highlighted.
The February 2010 acts of individual members of the UCSD community involving the racially offensive “Compton cookout”, the use of the “N” word on the student-run TV station by the Koala, and the display of the noose at Geisel Library are divisive and abhorrent. These individuals’ ignorance, gross insensitivity, and hatefulness have no place at UCSD.
Intellectual communities, like social communities, are enriched and stimulated by diversity. As we strive for the best intellectual environment at our institution, we recognize that we must fight for the inclusion and protection of underrepresented groups. We embrace these groups and value their contributions to our community. We will absolutely not accept threats and hate towards them. Furthermore, as members of the SIO community, we recognize that in our position of privilege, it is unethical to fail to defend minority groups that are abused by members of the majority. We will not stand for it. Not in our community.
Too often, SIO is cloaked in apathy owing in part to its physical separation from both the main UCSD campus and less privileged areas of San Diego. Today, however, we take action. We come together to support diversity and justice. We are committed to those who feel emotionally burdened by recent events and who struggle to fulfill their duties both to research and to our hurting community. We are also committed to the underrepresented groups that already reside at our institution, and we are fighting to retain them in an atmosphere that is welcoming to all individuals.
The current friction on campus affects far more than the 2% of students directly targeted by the hateful acts. It affects all students, faculty, and staff members who value our community. By signing this letter, we are supporting our classmates and colleagues, both at SIO and on upper campus, pledging “Not in our community!” We will stand against hate and insist on administrative action to improve the campus climate. We will listen to the concerns and fears of our classmates and colleagues, and dedicate the necessary time and resources to mend our fractured campus. Together we promote compassion, empathy, respect, and intellectual exchange for all members of our community.
Thanks and Peace,
Proud Advocates for a Diverse and Inclusive UCSD and SIO