Concerned Students of Middlebury Resolutions
To Our Middlebury Community:
We, the Concerned Students of Middlebury, would like to hope all is well for those reading this; however, given the times we are currently living in, we understand this is likely an over-optimistic sentiment. We do hope you are each taking care of yourself as much as possible.
It has been many months since our initial email to the Middlebury College administration and in this time great progress has occurred in terms of our fostering of a relationship with our administration. In this time, we have made strides in becoming a solidified student organization, with this process being projected to be completed during January of 2021. While the engagement we have taken on with the Middlebury administration has in many ways provided an excellent opportunity for bidirectional discourse and understanding, this engagement simply does not erase the national scale of pain and suffering Black Americans, Indigenous peoples, and people of color have experienced in recent times. A global pandemic continues to ravage our most disenfranchised communities; the “criminal justice system” continues to disenfranchise BIPOC members of our nation; Black people continue to be murdered in the streets by those who are supposed to serve and protect. It is unfortunate to say that not much has changed in this regard.
While we wish we were returning to the public sphere in a time that has improved from the era in which we were conceived as an organization— an era defined by the continued publicized and fetishized pain of Black Americans— we are disappointed to say that this is not the case. Instead, not only have we returned to a time of continued turmoil as it relates to race but we are also confronted with the increasing stabilization of fascist movements into the democratic fabric of the United States.
Make no mistake: the concepts of racism and fascism are intrinsically linked and have been for many decades in the case of the Republic of the United States. The stench of systemic oppression only fuels the flames of fascist uprisings; They are both predicated on maintaining power and promoting subjugation of our most vulnerable populations. These are ideas that have been perpetuated and amplified by the current sitting President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, for the last four years and we are all now reaping the results of what has been sown by not only him but also his enablers and supporters. It is important now more than ever we reject this and actively play a role in combating these behaviors. These are the very ideals that our organization stands firmly against and we are hoping that our Middlebury community does as well. This fascism may have found a home in the United States of America, today but it does not have a place in the United States of America we wish to cultivate and see prosper in the future.
Let us be abundantly clear: white supremacy, domestic terrorism, sedition to keep an attempted despot in power, the perversion of the law to ensure the self-determined elite maintain control, and any and all structures contributing to these efforts, all stand in direct contrast to our mission, not only as an organization but as BIPOC individuals and allies. They all also highlight the simple fact that elections have consequences for all of us. We are seeing the results of not only the 2016 election, but every election preceding it that allowed for the continued cultivation and nourishing of White nationalist sentiments and domestic terrorism in the United States. Holding legislators accountable for their choices is one of the first steps in the process of combating this oppression. The time has come for us to organize as people in order to vote for individuals who represent us and our values. If we don’t see them, it’s our job to be the individuals to fill that void. Grassroots movements necessitate all of our participation and building a nation where all people are truly equal calls for the election of people who will actively advocate for these values.
The society we live in today needs tangible change. This need for action transcends the Middlebury community that we are direct members of for four years and requires us each to take an active role in creating the change we want to see in the outside world as well. We need people who are willing to not only mobilize for awareness but to also call truth to power and ensure change is made, both in and out of elected offices. Let us each never lose sight of that important truth and recall it every day at Middlebury and beyond when we have opportunities to make positive change in the world.
With all of this taken into consideration, this mission must begin at home. Our college experiences are incredibly formative and, now more than ever, our work as the Concerned Students of Middlebury must work to ensure we all have the resources we need to begin cultivating the values we wish to take with us into the world. While we, the Concerned Students of Middlebury, have done a great deal of work behind closed doors to reach this goal, we recognize that our online absence and thus seeming irreverence towards the issues we all currently face does little to benefit our historically underrepresented and unseen communities. For that, we apologize and pledge to do better. As we have taken time to reflect on this, we have drafted several resolutions that specifically aim to address the issues we have seen in the Middlebury microcosm of the nation. A table of contents of all resolutions can be found here. The petitions for each can be found on this Google Form. All of the above can also be found on the Concerned Students of Middlebury website.
We refuse to be inactionable during this time, and while we are limited in some of our ability, we must do whatever we can to create the community we all need at Middlebury and can work towards together. As we alluded to earlier, we each have a great deal of power and voice, both individually and together. If you are interested in seeing any of these implemented or simply just looking to voice your support, please join our movement by signing our petitions.
Concerned Students of Middlebury Executive Board
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