Dear Wake Forest community,
Once again, we have seen our fellow human beings killed. George Floyd, Steven Taylor, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery did not have to die. Their deaths have caused grief, anger, frustration, fear and hopelessness for many. Because of the deep effects of systemic racism, our country is once again trying to make sense of the senseless violence and relentless oppression aimed at the African American community. Witnessing what has happened over these past few days, including the unrest in more than 30 cities as communities plead for an end to racism, white supremacy and violence against people of color, it is overwhelming to see the anguish etched on the faces of so many.
To members of the Wake Forest community who are feeling pain and fear brought on by these deaths, I am sorry and I grieve with you. Though I cannot fully comprehend the sadness and sorrow, I’m disheartened that, yet again, our nation has failed to live up to its ideals and our communities have ignored the infinite dignity of all its members.
To our African American students, staff, faculty, families, alumni and extended community members specifically, I realize that this time of tragedy comes in the middle of a global pandemic that is adding suffering and claiming lives disproportionately, and keeping us apart when we would typically reach out to one another for comfort. I vow to continue supporting you in these troubling times, standing with you as we address issues of social justice and driving our community to do better.
We cannot ignore injustice or wish away racism and bigotry. Now more than ever, we must confront hatred and uphold one another in times of great division and inequity. Though we are not together on campus during this national crisis, we will always be linked by our pursuit of truth and our commitment to each other — as Wake Foresters and as human beings.
Nathan O. Hatch