Following Tuesday’s verdict in the Derek Chauvin case, finding the former Minneapolis police officer guilty of killing George Floyd, a slew of colleges sent out statements condemning the American justice system and systemic racism.
At Iowa State University, the school’s president told students that they should be fearful of police because Floyd’s death could have happened to their “father, mother, brother, or sister — or even themselves.”
The email read:
In the faces of many of our students, faculty, and staff, especially those of color, we have seen the hurt, anguish, and pain of dealing with these incidents. Their feelings are rooted in the recognition that this possibly could have been their father, mother, brother, or sister — or even themselves.
Our feelings and thoughts of healing are especially with our Black students.
The University of Michigan’s Board of Regents sent out a message to students that claimed the defense of Chauvin was racist and that police officers are failing people.
The statement read:
No verdict will ever adequately soothe the pain, loss, and fear resulting from the tragic killing of Floyd and far too many other Black and Brown people by those in law enforcement who continue to fail our communities across the country.
The defense sought to blame Floyd for his own death, invoking racist stereotypes and attempting to distract from the terrifying images we have seen of the murder.
The University of Michigan also established the George Floyd Memorial Scholarship Fund to support students “who have demonstrated commitment to bettering their community through social justice.”
Leadership at both American University in Washington, D.C., and Johns Hopkins University sent out messages condemning “systemic racism” and referencing the Atlanta shooting as well as the Capitol Riot on January 6.
American University’s president claimed that the school is still confronting systemic racism and endemic violence in 2021, specifically mentioning the January 6 Capitol “insurrection.”
The message read:
We are confronting hundreds of years of systemic racism. We are also a society plagued by endemic violence. Mass shootings in Indianapolis, Atlanta, Boulder, Orange County, and too many other communities to list in just the last month alone. The all too frequent senseless killing of children, mothers, and fathers. The January 6 insurrection and the recent death of another Capitol Police Officer during an attack at a security checkpoint. While each tragedy has its own circumstances, they combine to represent a hollowing out of our humanity.
In the same message, American University announced that it will open black “affinity housing” in the fall, which will create racially segregated dorm spaces.
Johns Hopkins University leadership made similar statements regarding “systemic racism” as well as gender inequality for transgender Americans.
“This trauma has unfolded in many forms, from the rise in recent and ongoing horrific attacks against Asians and Asian Americans, to the symbols of racism and anti-Semitism brandished threateningly during Januarys’ Capitol insurrection, to the discrimination and harm directed toward transgender people, and the enduring pain and fear borne by our Black and Latinx communities who are disproportionately the victims of racial violence,” the message read.
Nearly every email sent out to students across the nation’s 4,000 college campuses included links to therapy and other mental health resources. Many colleges insinuated that students would be seeking therapy at higher rates following the conviction of Chauvin.