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President Margee Ensign sent the following message on the recent murder of George Floyd to the Dickinson community:
The shocking murder of George Floyd has laid bare, once again, the grave injustices black and brown people daily confront in this country. Everything about that crime portrays a dehumanizing reality that people of color have been forced to endure year after year, decade after decade, century after century.
This latest case comes amid the COVID-19 crisis, which we know has disproportionately impacted communities of color. Systemic racism permeates all facets of our society and our criminal justice system, and we must step up to oppose it and work together to make the reforms necessary to ensure that this country lives up to its noble ideals of equality and justice for all.
On behalf of Dickinson College, I want to state emphatically that black lives do matter. We categorically condemn police brutality; we categorically condemn all forms of racism. We are an institution founded to educate citizen leaders, and we desperately need those leaders now more than ever.
We must find a solution. The “right words” are not enough. Dickinson has long been committed to inclusivity and community building, and we welcome your ideas.
A plaque near Allison Hall commemorates the visit of a very great American hero, Martin Luther King Jr., in 1961. King’s sermon, “The Dimensions of a Complete Life,” exhorted all present to “learn to live together as brothers, or perish as fools.”
Nearly 60 years later, that sentiment rings truer than ever. We are still at risk of perishing as fools. We have yet to learn to live together. My sincere hope is that what might begin to emerge from this tragedy and the subsequent unrest are solutions to the inequalities that still blight and shame this country, that we will all take the responsibility on our shoulders to work with one another and to pull together—to work toward the society Dr. King died to bring about.
Margee M. Ensign
Published June 1, 2020