AUA’s Statement Against Racism and in support of Equal Opportunity for ALL
In the last week the world witnessed the murder of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, at the hands of four Minneapolis Police Officers whose job was to protect the people of Minneapolis.
Unfortunately, George Floyd is the latest in a long line of people of color who have suffered fatal consequences at the hands of the police. It is this course of conduct, by certain elements of various police forces, that requires people of all races to proclaim that “BLACK LIVES MATTER.”
In 2004, when AUA was founded, one of its guiding principles was to provide an opportunity for underrepresented minorities to have an opportunity to pursue a medical education. This principle was based on the fact that 7% or less of United States Medical School matriculates were African American. In comparison, American University of Antigua’s last graduating was comprised of 22% African Americans. We are proud of our contribution to diversity in the field of health care.
Regrettably, discrimination against people of color has much more dire consequences than not getting into medical school. The most obvious and extreme example being the death of unarmed black men and women at the hands of certain members of the police profession. However discrimination against people of color has also resulted in lack of educational opportunities, employment opportunities, accesses to health care and in general, equal protection under the law.
Americans of all races and ethnic backgrounds have risen up to protest the death of George Floyd and the disparate treatment of people of color. Unfortunately, they have been opposed by government forces that wish to deny Americans their right to freedom of speech, their right to assembly and their right to protest against government wrongs. These brave people who have risked health and safety in order to protest the killing of George Floyd have often been meet with physical harm in order to quell their right to protest.
This attempt to stifle peoples’ rights to protest against government wrongs along with the present administrations use of the United States Military against its own citizens is probably one of the greatest threats to our democracy.
It needs to be clear that American University of Antigua stands with the ideals of the Black Lives Matter movement.
That American University of Antigua stands for equality of opportunity in education.
That American University of Antigua stands for equality of opportunity in employment.
That American University of Antigua stands against disparity in health care for people of color.
That American University of Antigua stands against those who deny equal opportunity under the law to people based on the color of their skin, their religion, their sexual preference or their gender.
That American University of Antigua stands shoulder to shoulder with those who peacefully protest the disparate treatment of people of color that has resulted in the murder of George Floyd and those who came before him.
As a medical school community, our mission is to contribute to healing the sick, but we also have an obligation to heal the illnesses that are present in our society and to cure the type of bias and prejudice that led to the murder of George Floyd .
So for those of you who are involved in peacefully protesting the killing of George Floyd and for those of you are pressuring your government to make systematic changes that result in insuring that Black Lives Matter and for those of you who are trying to make societal changes through education, please know that we are there with you.
Neal S. Simon