Students of Color of Rackham

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CANCEL to Unite Against Hate

Dear U-M College Republicans,

A coalition of over a dozen diverse graduate organizations demands that the College Republicans cancel Charles Murray’s visit to campus on Wednesday, October 11.  As you know, Murray’s work, specifically his arguments about the race differences in IQ, devalues the intellectual worth of people of color, and promotes bigotry and racism. We echo the concerns of numerous students, administrators, deans, faculty, and staff who are working together to develop efforts conducive to meaningful diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).

Why You Should Cancel:

We demand that you cancel this event.. Murray’s 1994 book “The Bell Curve” has become a touchstone for the racist and neo-eugenicist views of  white supremacists today. For decades, Murray has proposed that intelligence is inherited and predicts one’s place in the social order, and that social policy and action can do next to nothing to upset this entrenched, determined social order.

These messages are intellectually dishonest and have been widely and comprehensively debunked for decades. Murray’s conclusions were drawn from incomplete data and presented maliciously without correction. Despite this, Murray’s continued defense of his fallacious and toxic claims demonstrates that his interest is not the advancement of science or the pursuit of truth. It is the perpetuation of white supremacy. To continue to extend an invitation to Murray, despite the bigotry and inaccuracy of his work, demonstrates a tacit agreement with his position. If this is not your intention, then his invitation must be withdrawn.

This invitation has already had dangerous consequences. In the week of your announcement of his visit, flyers drawing upon correlations of IQ and race appeared around campus, echoing the arguments Murray and his acolytes have been promoting since the 1990’s. This accompanied an increase in local racialized violence,including the vandalizing of undergraduate dorms with the word “N-----," racist graffiti discovered on an Ann Arbor mural, posters reading “Free Dylann Roof” found throughout campus, and the painting of anti-Latino sentiments on the rock.

Given this broader context, the presence of Murray on this campus is not only disrespectful and hazardous to our academic focus and personal wellness, but also antithetical to the University of Michigan’s stated values of diversity, equity, justice, and inclusiveness. .

We acknowledge your recent statement of solidarity from vice president of College Republicans, Amanda Delekta who stated, “this year with the rhetoric on campus and some of the hateful incidents that have occurred, we wanted to create a really clear message of what our group stands for and disassociate from some of the other groups that tend to get lumped in with us. We’re really just trying to create a clear message that College Republicans is going to be an active voice on this campus fighting for a really conservative message, but that being said, we don’t endorse any kind of hateful speech, nor are we ignoring our fellow community members that don’t feel welcome here right now.”

However, we know very well that acts of solidarity do not stop at painting a community platform. Your actions so far have been a type of performative allyship. Your endorsement of a figure that promotes false narratives relating racial oppression and class exploitation to genetic and cultural truths contradicts your words. This action is a unique opportunity to “show what your values are” and “do your part to promote those in your community.” You have a chance here to do more that speak. You can act and act decisively.

We want to emphasize that the cancellation of this event would amplify the explicit institutional statement of rejection of racism and bigotry. Now is the time to support and inform our community about responses to scientific racism and racial oppression. In the name of  promoting meaningful dialogue and action against hate, we invite you to take this first step in fostering collaboration and demonstrating respect for not only intellectual honesty, but also diversity, equity, and inclusion on our campus.

Regards,

The Multicultural Leadership Council

Students of Color of Rackham

 

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