The executive committee of the Association for Jewish Studies voices support for the national protests demanding justice in response to George Floyd’s senseless brutal death while in police custody and calling for legal reforms to address the long and painful history of anti-Black racism and violence.
As scholars of Jewish history and culture, we understand the acute suffering and disastrous impact of the unwarranted, excessive and often illegal use of force against minority civilian groups by law enforcement agents. We reject the efforts by some national leaders who have sought to deflect responsibility through false equivalencies and further incitement to violence.
We reaffirm our commitment to the values of diversity, equity, and human rights. We call on our colleagues to channel our personal outrage in the application of our professional research, scholarship, practice, and teaching to participate in overturning the deeply entrenched institutional sources of race-based inequality that are barriers to a more just and equitable world. We must do better and we can do so together.