The University of The Bahamas (UB) said yesterday that remaining silent is not an option in the face of mass protests rocking the United States and the world in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd – a Black man who was killed while being detained by police officers in Minneapolis on May 25.
The statement, from the president, faculty, students and staff of UB, expressed support for the cause of the protests and called for love to prevail over discord.
“As a beacon of transformation in The Bahamas, University of The Bahamas illuminates the way, through relevant conversations, research and progressive action,” the statement read.
“Deeper dialogues must emerge on matters like race relations, power structures, the criminal justice system, marginalized groups and social justice, leading to real policy amendments in our own country and improvements of our habits, behaviors and beliefs.
“New knowledge, which impacts teaching and further research, plays an integral role in shaping the consciousness of our societies.”
It added, “The vivid images of protesters in the United States and around the world demonstrating their pain and outrage over the senseless and horrific loss of Black lives are gripping and emotional.
“For more than a week, we have watched mothers, fathers, students, activists and communities, across various ethnic groups, protest in solidarity, calling for a just and equitable society. It is a clarion call that has reverberated around the world. It is also the same call that has been echoed for more than 400 years.
“Remaining silent is not an acceptable response to systemic and institutional racism and all that it has spawned. No matter the country, community or context, life is sacrosanct; Black lives matter. All lives matter.”
Protests have rocked the U.S. over the past week, some of which became violent, as looters broke into businesses.
But the UB statement read: “These peaceful protesters are not to be confused with the criminal behavior of some who, behind the wall of concerned citizens, strike at the opportunity to cause destruction to properties and communities.
“Some of these behaviors indicate a society that has given up on ever finding equality; they have given up on hope.”
It added, “At the core, however, the world needs more love.
“We all need to love more. We need to be more compassionate, empathetic, tolerant and just. Differences should be embraced and celebrated.”