Home and Belonging: Re-imagining Borders
JUNE 18, 2020
Dear JBSA members and colleagues,
Across the world, people are horrified by the recent killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25, 2020. And his is only one of the most recent deaths among those who have long endured cruelty, indignity, and blatant police brutality. What was so chilling was the casualness of his killing: a police officer, with his hands calmly in his pockets, kneeling on the neck of a human being for eight minutes.
Over the last few days a global outpouring of anger and grief has been witnessed as communities across the world in the UK, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Canada, and African countries, as well as the United States expressed outrage at the pointless killing of a man guilty of nothing but being black. This violence comes on top of the global pandemic that has had devastating effects on the health and economic security of millions of people.
I have been inspired by protestors against Mr. Floyd’s death across the world, and also saddened by the fact that 66 years after the 1954 establishment of the JBSA, a system of institutional racism remains across the United States as well as Asian countries, including Japan.
As one of the protestors had the slogan on the placard, “Silence Is Violence,” so we must say that indifference to human suffering must never be our own. Cries from our hearts to the pain of others must never be muffled. Our essential values demand that we are concerned.
As I mourn the death of George Floyd, I stand in solidarity with the millions of protesters in American cities and around the world and conclude by stating unequivocally that #black lives matter in the United States and Japan.
President of the Japan Black Studies Association