For years, African-American citizens of the United States of America have been killed at the hands of law enforcement. Unfortunately, this was the case for the late George Floyd and Breonna Taylor — two Black citizens who were killed by police officers in recent months.
Furthermore, Ahmaud Arbery, an African-American man who was jogging in a predominately white neighborhood, was killed by two white males.
Not only are these unlawful practices frequent, but they’re also followed with innumerable acquittals in the courts that have failed to supply justice for the individuals. These instances of injustice are obvious acts of racism and police brutality, which should be condemned at the highest level of government.
The University of Texas Medical Branch, being the first medical school in Texas, has been a leader amongst its peers in serving a diverse student population. Many of its students, being people of color, have been subject to some of the deep-seeded disparities at the hands of law.
The Student Government Association at the medical branch stands with all students in protesting systemic racism and police brutality. We support the efforts of the Black Lives Matter civil rights movement and declare our position in the matters at hand.
We, as a student body, condemn historic and current police violence against the Black community.
We outright castigate the killers of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and countless others.
We, as a student body, stand together to support one another if this has caused our fellow students to experience deep hurt, festering anger and lamenting during this unprecedented time in history.
We, as the Student Government Association, are here to engage in dialogue that could lead to tangible change even here in our community.
We would like to start by calling on the administration at the medical branch, the state government and the federal government to declare racism a public health emergency that has been at the root of health disparities for several generations.
There is no place in our university, our homes or in our hearts for the prejudice that has eclipsed our nation for so long.
In pursuing higher education in health care and academic research, the students of the medical branch have already demonstrated deep commitment to improving the human condition. We urge you to turn that powerful compassion toward each other — and yourself — in this difficult time. Listen to your peers, understand the pain and take time to reflect upon your feelings.
We are stronger for every culture and unique story that each student brings to the medical branch. Thank you, each of you, for choosing to share your story with all of us at Student Government Association.
Editor’s Note: This column is a statement from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston Student Government Association — and not from the medical branch itself.