Dear Salt Lake Community College community,
Two weeks in a row, we have reached out to you about devastating violence in our nation. The brutal killing of Tyre Nichols by Memphis police officers leaves deep grief for some and cries of outrage from others. This continues the need for a call to action and examination of systemic violence by some law enforcement officers toward unarmed Black people.
The incident was carried out by five Black officers, which blurs the lines of structural, systemic and internalized racism. (Links provided for those who may not be familiar with this terminology.) Regardless of who acts out the violence, the negative effects of violent racial policing of Black communities can create an environment of continual stress and anxiety around safety. Some of the same issues of structural and systemic racism and classism are being uncovered in at least one of the California shootings.
We know that some in our community may be dealing with individual or communal trauma. As the days go by and more information regarding Tyre’s death becomes known, we ask each member of our community to be kind, patient and sympathetic to one another. We encourage you to find community on campus during this time.
This letter was originally sent Feb. 1, 2023.