Department of Political Science Statement on Racial Violence

Black lives matter and violence against the bodies of people of color in this country must end. We simply will not survive as a democracy if we do not work to end systemic racism and white supremacy in all our institutions and at all levels of society. The Political Science Department at Pacific Lutheran University mourns the loss of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery and countless others who have seen their lives cut short because of racial violence in this country. We also stand with the protesters who are working tirelessly to demonstrate the power of people to transform communities, states, and nations.

We believe that coursework can help you to identify where systemic injustice exists. However, we cannot, and should not, simply recognize the existence of systemic injustice without doing our part to deconstruct that injustice. In Ibram X. Kendi’s powerful book “How to Be An Antiracist” he suggests that there are only two types of people, racists and antiracists. In other words, there is no middle ground, either you are working actively against racism or you are part of the problem. In this department, we are committed to reflecting on ways that we can fight against racism in all of its insidious forms and we hope that you will take time to do the same.

In that effort, this is a short list of some resources we think might be helpful in exploring topics of race and policing in America:


Ibram X. Kendi’s “How to Be An Antiracist”

Ijeoma Oluo’s “So You Want to Talk About Race”

Michelle Alexander’s “The New Jim Crow”

Bryan Stevenson’s “Just Mercy”

Ta-Nehisi Coates’s “Between the World and Me” & “We Were Eight Years in Power”

Robin DiAngelo’s “White Fragility”

Joe Feagin’s “The White Racial Frame.”

Eduardo Bonilla Silva’s “Racism without Racists.”

Ian Haney López, “Dog Whistle Politics.”

Leo Chávez, “The Latino Threat.”

Clarissa Hayward, “How Americans Make Race.”

Charles Mills, “The Racial Contract.”

Cybelle Fox, “Three Worlds of Relief.”

Guinier and Torres, “The Miner’s Canary.”

Chou and Feagin, “The Myth of the Model Minority.”

David Treuer’s “Rez Life” & “The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee.”

There is also a wealth of information about issues of race on the internet, and students are strongly encouraged to explore the following websites:, a web-site with a focus on scholarly commentary on current issues of racism., a program about politics and ideas, which frequently include topics on race/racism., a web-site dealing with racism and the law., a web-site by the PBS Newshour’s Race Matters series covering a variety of topics dealing with race/racism from police brutality to popular culture.

Politics, Groups, and Identities Journal’s #BlackLivesMatter Micro-Syllabus All articles are free until August 31, 2020):

I know that it is the summer, but we would also like to offer an opportunity to gather as a community and discuss this issue. I have included a Google form and you can indicate whether you would be interesting in attending such a forum and, if so, the days/times that would work for you.

We are thinking of you and hoping for a better, more equitable, just, and more peaceful future.


Drs. Artime and Chavez