The Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC is horrified by the ongoing appalling violence against the Black community in the United States. The images are difficult to take in, but they clearly show what millions of people experience everyday: the fear of, or direct experience, of violent racism, discrimination and abuse. FPSE joins in sorrow with those who are grieving, but we understand that this is not enough -we must demonstrate our solidarity on an ongoing basis.
Canada is not immune from the racism we see in the United States. It is important to recognize that the foundations of our country and province were built on white supremacy. This was not limited to the Black community – Indigenous Peoples, and other racialized persons have also been systemically persecuted, oppressed, and killed by the state. We must also recognize that the racism of our institutions and society is not the past, but the present, as shown by the list of people killed by police in Canada compiled by journalist Desmond Cole.
This is a difficult truth, but is necessary for us to know and understand in order to truly hear and support the people we must be listening to in order for things to change. The community members who have been experiencing this violence have been working to end racism since it began. We need to listen to these leaders and unite in solidarity to support the changes they have identified.
One of the main principles of solidarity is that “an injury to one is an injury to all”. Our coworkers, friends and neighbours are being injured, and they are dying. It is incumbent on all of us to do more to listen, learn and act to bring an end to the violence.
The Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC is the provincial voice for faculty and staff in BC teaching universities, colleges and institutes, and in private sector institutions. FPSE member locals, represented by Presidents' Council and the Executive, represent over 10,000 faculty and staff at 18 public and 12 private sector institutions.