Statement of Solidarity - Social Sciences Department

June 4, 2020

Dear Colleagues:

The Social Sciences Department at SRJC stands with our fellow faculty, staff, and students in condemning the long-standing systemic police violence directed at people of color on our campus, in our Sonoma County community, and around the country. We recognize that the recent violence directed toward people of color is not new nor is it a series of isolated incidences at the hands of a few bad apples. We stand in solidarity with our African American community members and commit to actively combat racism wherever we see, hear, or read it. Furthermore, we recognize that declaring our solidarity with this vital cause is not enough to make any substantive change and pledge to redouble our efforts to highlight historic and systemic inequality in the classroom and in our daily interactions.   .   As the Civil Rights Leader Ella Baker said, “Until the killing of black men, black mothers' sons, becomes as important to the rest of the country as the killing of a white mother's sons, we who believe in freedom cannot rest until this happens.”

We also stand with our colleagues who have disclosed their experiences with racism here on campus and are determined to continue to listen to their perspectives with an empathetic ear. As Historians, Economists, and Political Scientists we understand that this country was founded on racist, classist, and sexist policies, that still have powerful legacies today.  The abolitionist Frederick Douglass saw the hypocrisy in a country that was supposedly founded on liberty and freedom, yet protected slavery, coverture, and white supremacy.  He eloquently and powerfully  explained this in his 1852 speech, "What to the Slave, is the 4th of July."  Douglass understood that his audience would be made uncomfortable with this speech, but he said it anyway.   Our society needs to have a similar discussion.

"What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?" - Teaching American History

“What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” Frederick Douglass, 1850. Public domain, from the National Portrait Gallery. Core Document > Frederick Douglass > “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” Mr. President, Friends and Fellow Citizens: He who could address this audience without a quailing sensation, has stronger nerves than I have.

We also recognize that we are in a unique position to effect change for the students we serve by modeling more just and equitable practices in our classrooms and on campus. Systemic racism and police violence will not recede with hollow declarations of solidarity, but with thoughtful, meaningful, collaborative commitments to deconstruct white supremacy in every way and confront the forces of reaction with the full force of our collective intellect. 

In an effort to move from declaration to action we have included the following collection of resources to help understand the roots of what we see on our streets. We want to alert you to resources that you might consider contributing toward in any capacity you see fit as a way to ameliorate the horrible consequences of police violence in communities of color and the continued struggle to recognize the basic and undeniable fact that BLACK LIVES MATTER.   

Possible resources for our classrooms:


Jstor recently compiled readings and made them accessible for free: Institutionalized Racism: A Syllabus

 If you have not yet seen one of the earlier Jstor compilations prompted by the white supremacist riot in Charlottesville in 2017, those readings are also essential:Charlottesville Syllabus: Readings on the History of Hate in America


The reading list below was compiled by The Abusable Past Collective


Stuart Hall et. al., Policing the Crisis: Mugging, the State, and Law and Order (1978)

Sidney Harring, Policing a Class Society: The Experience of American Cities, 1865-1915 (1983)

Joy James, States of Confinement: Policing, Detention, and Prisons (2000)

Marc Neocleous, The Fabrication of Social Order: A Critical Theory of Police Power  (2000)

Christian Parenti, Lockdown America: Police and Prisons in the Age of Crisis (2001)

Sam Mitrani, The Rise of the Chicago Police Department: Class and Conflict, 1850-1894 (2013)

Mariame Kaba, “Summer Heat” (2015)

Kristian Williams, Our Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America (2015)

Jordan T. Camp and Christina Heatherton, eds., Policing the Planet: Why the Policing Crisis Led to Black Lives Matter (2016)

Kelly Lytle Hernández, City of Inmates: Conquest, Rebellion, and the Rise of Human Caging in Los Angeles, 1771–1965 (2017)

Andrea Ritchie, Invisible No More: Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color (2017)

Alex Vitale, “The police are not here to protect you” (2017) 

David Correia and Tyler Wall, Police: A Field Guide (2018)

Max Felker-Kantor, Policing Los Angeles: Race, Resistance, and the Rise of the LAPD (2018)

Monica Muñoz Martinez, The Injustice Never Leaves You: Anti-Mexican Violence in Texas (2018)

Micol Seigel, Violence Work: State Power and the Limits of Police (2018)

Marisol Lebron, Policing Life and Death: Race, Violence, and Resistance in Puerto Rico (2019)

Stuart Schrader, Badges Without Borders: How Global Counterinsurgency Transformed American Policing (2019)



Ida B. Wells, “Lynch Law in America” (1900)

Ida B. Wells, “This Awful Slaughter” (1909)

We Charge Genocide: The Historic Petition to the United Nations for Relief From a Crime of The United States Government Against the Negro People (1951)

Kali Nicole Gross, Colored Amazons: Crime, Violence, and Black Women in the City of Brotherly Love, 1880-1910 (2006)

Douglas Blackmon, Slavery by Another Name: The Re-enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II (2008)

Khalil Muhammed, The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America (2010)

Beth Richie, Arrested Justice: Black Women, Violence, and America’s Prison Nation (2012)

Simone Browne, Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness (2015)

Christen Smith, Afro-Paradise: Blackness, Violence, and Performance in Brazil (2016)

Damien M. Sojoyner, First Strike: Educational Enclosures in Black Los Angeles (2016) 

Paul Butler, Chokehold: Policing Black Men (2017)

Robyn Maynard, Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present (2017)

Jenn M. Jackson, “Calling the Police on Black People Can Put Them in Danger” (2018) 

P.R. Lockhart, “Living While Black and the criminalization of blackness” (2018) 

Simon Balto, Occupied Territory: Policing Black Chicago from Red Summer to Black Power (2019)

Savannah Shange, Progressive Dystopia: Abolition, Antiblackness, and Schooling in San Francisco (2019)

Carl Suddler, Presumed Criminal: Black Youth and the Justice System in Postwar New York (2019)



James Baldwin, “A Report from Occupied Territory” (1966)

U.S. Riot Commission, Report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders [KERNER COMMISSION REPORT](1968) 

Robert Gooding-Williams, ed. Reading Rodney King/Reading Urban Uprising (1993)

Anna Deavere Smith, Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 (1993)

Paul Chaat Smith and Robert Allen Warrior, Like a Hurricane: The Indian Movement from Alcatraz to Wounded Knee (1997)

Tim Madigan, The Burning: Massacre, Destruction, and the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 (2001)

Donna Murch, Living For the City: Migration, Education, and the Rise of the Black Panther Party in Oakland, California (2010)

Cameron McWhirte, Red Summer: The Summer of 1919 and the Awakening of Black America(2011)

Vicky Osterweil, “In Defense of Looting” (2014) 

African American Policy Forum, “#SayHerName: Resisting Police Brutality Against Black Women” (2015)

Jordan Camp, Incarcerating the Crisis: Freedom Struggles and the Rise of the Neoliberal State(2016)

Aaron G. Fountain Jr., “Forgotten Latino Urban Riots and Why They Can Happen Again” (2016)

Elizabeth Hinton, From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America (2016)

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation (2016)

Llana Barber, Latino City: Immigration and Urban Crisis in Lawrence, Massachusetts, 1945–2000 (2017)

Natalie Delgadillo, “The Forgotten History of Latino Riots” (2017)

Orisanmi Burton, “Organized Disorder: The New York City Jail Rebellion of 1970” (2018)

Nick Estes, Our History is the Future: Standing Rock Versus the Dakota Access Pipeline, And the Long Tradition of Indigenous Resistance (2019)

Melvin Rogers, “We Should Be Afraid, But Not of Protesters” (2020)



Critical Resistance, Resources on Policing and Police Abolition 

Angela Y. Davis and Dylan Rodriguez, “The Challenge of Prison Abolition: A Conversation” (2000)

Angela Y.  Davis, Are Prisons Obsolete? (2003)

CR10 Publications Collective, Abolition Now: Ten Years of Strategy and Struggle Against the Prison Industrial Complex (2008)

Rose City Copwatch, Alternatives to Police (2010) 

Reina Gossett, Dean Spade, and Hope Dector, “No One Is Disposable: Everyday Practices of Prison Abolition” (2013)

“Angela Davis on Prison Abolition, the War on Drugs and Why Social Movements Shouldn’t Wait on Obama” (2014)

Mariame Kaba, “Police ‘Reforms’ You Should Always Oppose” (2014) 

Victoria Law, “Against Carceral Feminism” (2014) 

Jose Martin, “Policing is a Dirty Job, But Nobody’s Gotta Do It: 6 Ideas for a Cop-Free World” (2014)

Kristian Williams, “A Look at Feminist Forms of Justice That Don’t Involve the Police” (2015) 

Mychal Denzel Smith, “Abolish the Police. Instead, Let’s Have Full Social, Economic, and Political Equality” (2015) 

Maya Dukmasova, “Abolish the police? Organizers say it’s less crazy than it sounds.” (2016) 

Victoria Law, “Protection Without Police: North American Community Responses to Violence in the 1970s and Today” (2017) 

John Duda, “Towards the horizon of abolition: A conversation with Mariame Kaba” (2017) 

MDP 150, “Enough is Enough: A 150 Year Performance Review of the Minneapolis Police Department” (2017)

Derecka Purnell, “What Does Police Abolition Mean?” (2017) 

Alex Vitale, The End of Policing (2017) 

Meghan G. McDowell & Luis A. Fernandez, “‘Disband, Disempower, and Disarm’: Amplifying the Theory and Practice of Police Abolition” (2018) 

Bill Keller, “What Do Abolitionists Really Want?” (2019)

Derecka Purnell and Marbre Stahly-Butts, “The Police Can’t Solve the Problem. They Are the Problem.” (2019)

Ruth Wilson Gilmore and James Kilgore, “The Case for Abolition” (2019) 

Rachel Kushner, “Is Prison Necessary? Ruth Wilson Gilmore Might Change Your Mind” (2019) 


Kelly Lytle Hernández, Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Heather Ann Thompson (eds.), Historians and the Carceral State (2015)

Dan Berger, Garrett Felber, Kali Gross, Elizabeth Hinton, and Anyabwile Love, “Prison Abolition Syllabus 2.0” (2018)

Matt Guariglia and Charlotte Rosen, “Histories Of Police, Policing, And Police Unions In The United States” (2020) 

Micah Herskind, “Resource Guide: Prisons, Policing, and Punishment” (2019, updated 2020)

Mariame Kaba, Prison Culture PIC Essential Reading List (2010)

#CiteBlackWomen (Christen A. Smith), Twitter thread on resources that support the struggle to preserve and protect Black life (2020), Resource Hub (2020)


Organizations that you can contribute to right now to support allied causes. List compiled by New York Times Magazine

• The Bail Project, a nonprofit that aims to mitigate incarceration rates through bail reform.

• The National Bail Fund Network also has a directory of community bail funds to which you can donate, along with a COVID-19 rapid response fund. Another list of funds is available here.

• Black Visions Collective, a black, trans, and queer-led social justice organization and legal fund based in Minneapolis-St. Paul.

• A Gas Mask Fund for black youth activists in Minneapolis is raising money to buy gas masks for demonstrators who’ve faced tear gas during protests.

• The NAACP Legal Defense Fund, which supports racial justice through advocacy, litigation, and education.

• Communities United Against Police Brutality, which operates a crisis hotline where people can report abuse; offers legal, medical, and psychological resource referrals; and engages in political action against police brutality.

• MOODI (Mobile Outreach and Outdoor Drop-In) is an initiative of the Cultural Wellness Center in Minneapolis, providing immediate response and resources for people currently without shelter.

• We Love Lake Street is gathering donations for small businesses and non-profits on Lake Street in Minneapolis, to help with the clean-up effort.

• Communities United for Police Reform is an initiative to end discriminatory policing in New York, helping to educate people on their rights and document police abuse.

• The Legal Rights Center is a non-profit law firm based in Minneapolis, offering legal defense, educational, and advocacy services.

• Showing Up for Racial Justice works to educate white people about anti-racism and organizes actions to support the fight for racial justice and undermine white supremacy.

• No New Jails NYC aims to keep the city from constructing new jails, and to instead divert funds that currently go toward the police and incarceration toward housing, ending homelessness, mental health, and other community support systems.

• The Know Your Rights Camp, an organization founded by Colin Kaepernick that provides education and training in black and brown communities, set up a legal fund for Minneapolis protestors.

• Fair Fight, an organization founded by Stacey Abrams that aims to end voter suppression and equalize voting rights and access for fairer elections


All lives can't matter until Black Lives Matter.

The Social Sciences Department