This letter began circulating this past weekend.
Dear Chancellor Fox:
As a Full Professor who has spent her whole 20-year career at UCSD, as Chair of the Ethnic Studies Department, and as a woman faculty of color who has faced many indignities over the years, I write to ask you to exercise your leadership today to declare a state of emergency and close down the campus–in recognition of the shattered state that the campus is in.
Since the “Compton Cookout” incident, many students and faculty of color and their allies have devoted countless hours to do your/our job of teaching about racism on campus and of ensuring that UCSD lives up to its mission as a place of learning–in the most profound sense of that word. Their labor–physical, mental, emotional, intellectual–goes uncompensated, unrecognized, and even mocked by the largely apathetic UCSD community. Because they have had to put aside their study, their teaching, their research, their writing, to do the university work, they will again bear the brunt of the costs of being at a university that views “diversity”, at best, as a benign celebration of multiculturalism and “economic empowerment.”
As many of us face down today in the shadow of a noose, we ask that you share in this labor and that you ask the ENTIRE community at UCSD to share in this labor. To not do so will be to benefit, once again, from the labor of the marginalized and maligned at UCSD.
Every crisis can bring forth great change. You have an opportunity to participate in this movement of change in a real and fundamental way. Please do so, or we risk a campus that will be deeply divided for years to come. The campus will be shut down, one way or another. It’d be in our best interest that you are the one to shut it down.
Yen Le Espiritu
Professor and Chair
Department of Ethnic Studies
University of California, San Diego