Renu Khator speaks out against ‘systemic racism and inequity’ after George Floyd’s death
President Renu Khator on Monday spoke out against “systemic racism and inequity” after the death of George Floyd, a Third Ward native who died in Minneapolis police custody on May 25.
“Mr. Floyd was a member of our community, and we join hundreds of other universities and millions of Americans in condemning this brutal event and the larger failing in our culture that allows such atrocities to continue,” Khator said in a statement. “We share in the tremendous pain our community and nation are experiencing.”
“Our mission as an institution and our responsibility as human beings compel us to take a stand,”she added. “To those who are horrified and in serious distress: we stand with you.”
Within the emailed statement, Khator said there are still many questions left to answer as the national discourse points toward addressing racism.
“Obviously, we don’t have all the answers,” she said. “But what we can — and will do — is commit to asking the important questions: What is keeping us from doing what is right? When we know what is right, what is keeping us from taking appropriate action to address systemic racism, and social injustice that, too often, result in tragedies like George Floyd’s death?
“What must be done to address the great inequities that continue to exist?”
Khator joined Student Government Association President Jasmine Khademakbari in speaking out in support of the black community.
“If we really do want to fight systematic racism and police brutality and violence against black people, the first thing you have to do is to stand up for black people in your own communities,” Khademakbari told The Cougar on Saturday.
Since Floyd’s death, protests have sprung up across the country, including in downtown Houston over the weekend.
Khator encouraged protesters to not stop seeking justice, even after the demonstrations subside.
“(Floyd’s death) has driven many to protest — most are doing so with peace and civility,” she said, “but that should not be an end in itself.