Anthropologists Urged to Focus on Police, Inequality

December 22, 2014

The president of the American Anthropological Association on Friday issued a statement calling on anthropologists to act in response to the issue of police killings of unarmed black men.

“In the United States, too many black Americans are killed by officers of the law. As anthropologists, we must speak out whenever our common humanity gives way to discrimination, prejudice and violence. We must speak out whenever anyone acts in ways that accords the full rights of personhood to some but not all. In this case, these injustices are perpetrated by those who are trained to protect us all, requiring a radical re-examination of the processes and structures that produce these tragedies on a regular basis," said the statement from Monica Heller, a professor at the University of Toronto. "Anthropologists can, and do, contribute to this re-examination by showing how structural inequality makes racism and race-based violence commonplace, whether it is motivated by individuals’ conscious intent or not, and in particular how officers of the law come to perpetrate such violence. It is time now to join with others to undo that process. Because it stops today.”

+ -

Expand commentsHide comments  —   Join the conversation!

Opinions on Inside Higher Ed

Inside Higher Ed’s Blog U

Back to Top