March 17, 2021

A Message of Solidarity from Superintendent/President Dr. Utpal K. Goswami

Dear SBCC Community,
By now you have seen two powerful messages from Dr. Napoleon and Dr. Ralston in the aftermath of the mass murders in Atlanta.  In their messages they are also reflecting the soul of SBCC.  As a community centered on equity and anti-racism we all condemn this  reprehensible act. Unfortunately, this has become far too common that condemnation and condolences must be accompanied by some reflection. People all over the world have heard the siren song of 'Give us you tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free...'. Most, however, do not know that the 'masses' did not include Asians, Africans,.......until 1965. The roots of the evil we face are deep.
We call ourselves civilized. As I reflect on how civilized people can do such things I go back to our human history. And it is not pretty--it is a history of domination, subjugation and extermination when two or more groups of homo sapiens happened to meet. We all carry the genetic code to become that. We become civilized when we are able to suppress and transcend our baser instincts. That is why our work on anti-racism, xenophobia, homophobia, misogyny and all that is never done because we must always be constantly on guard against those instincts surfacing. Weaker individuals give in and make the conscious choice to act reprehensibly--and it is a given that there will be weak individuals. What is more insidious is when society gives licence to act upon these instincts as a badge of honor--and that is what I am seeing happening in recent years. We must never accept this behavior. We must and do condemn it in all its forms. Let us be strong and see all humanity as our collective pack. And above all, we all stand in solidarity with our AAPI students, staff and faculty.
Utpal K. Goswami, Ph. D.
Santa Barbara City College