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To the McMaster Political Science community in response to anti-Muslim hate crime in London

We are writing to you again after a horrific act of racist violence: the murder of four members of the Afzaal family in London, Ontario, on June 6, 2021.

Jun 14, 2021

Dear members of the McMaster Political Science community,

We are writing to you again after a horrific act of racist violence: the murder of four members of the Afzaal family in London, Ontario, on June 6, 2021. We are heartbroken and furious, as we know many of you are, too.

Over the past year, the department has made two formal statements condemning anti-Black racism and anti-Asian racism. The Truth and Reconciliation Committee has also prepared a statement on behalf of the department acknowledging and mourning the discovery of 215 children who were buried in unmarked graves at the Kamloops Indian Residential School.

We acknowledge and condemn the anti-Muslim hate that led to a white man taking four precious lives and leaving a child orphaned. We acknowledge how dispiriting it is to be trying to find words to express our outrage and grief, again. We acknowledge the much more significant despair felt by students, colleagues and friends whose safety and life chances are directly impacted by racist violence and more subtle structures of racism throughout society. We write these statements with deep sincerity, as a way to make commitments for which our department can be held accountable, to share resources, and to hopefully let members of our community feel seen – but we cannot actually measure their value, if any.

So today we write more informally. We see the thread that links all of these violent acts: white supremacy. We commit to identifying and dismantling white supremacy in our own lives and in the institutions we are a part of. We are hopeful that grief and anger can be turned to action.

-McMaster Political Science Anti-Racism Working Group