Dear Pitt Dental Medicine Community,
Pitt ASDA is both deeply saddened and outraged by the murder of George Floyd – another Black life lost at the hands of police brutality. It was just six years ago that Eric Garner gasped the same words “I CAN’T BREATHE” as his life was unjustly taken by those meant to protect it. We mourn with the African American community both within our fold and beyond, whose call for justice is often met with hostility or silence. This tragedy is not an isolated event and points to the much larger issue of systemic racism that has plagued our country for hundreds of years.
It is time that we, as health professionals, recognize that racism is a public health crisis. It is time that we call for anti-racism. It is time for zero tolerance toward bigotry and time to call out blatant racism where we see it. Stopping here is failure. Colorblindness is failure. Pretending that race is not important or worth the discomfort of discussion is denying part of the humanity of people of color in our community. White culture is affirmed everywhere we look, so uplifting voices of color and standing in solidarity are ways that we counter the narrative of white supremacy. We must honestly evaluate the ways we have failed through our inaction to support and empower the people of color in our community. To our black community: We hear you. We see you. We support you.
With that being said, we recognize that it is easy to feel helpless and overwhelmed in times like this. For that, here is a list of resources you can engage with to help this cause:
- Donate to local organizations that are committed to this cause:
- Education. Education. We can only advance if we educate ourselves on these issues:
- Documentaries – The 13th, When They See Us, Slavery by Another Name, Explained: The Racial Wealth Gap
- Books – Stamped from the Beginning, The New Jim Crow, White Fragility
- Podcasts – 1619 Project, Seeing White by Scene on Radio
American Student Dental Association – Pittsburgh Chapter