A Statement by the Africana Studies Program Committee at Rhodes College

A gothic-style academic building surrounded by trees

This is not about a sock monkey.
This is about a culture that pervasively is on the side of those
who lynch sock monkeys,
And do not know what that means,
Or profess not to know and are trusted,
Or who think it was "just" a joke or a prank,
Or who worry about over-reactions.

This is not about a sock monkey.
This is about what a hanging monkey symbolizes,
about how the privilege of unknowing translates to the pain of a population of people,
and how the burden of antiracism falls on the very shoulders of those who must also bear the reality of suffering,
or how a joke becomes a space of terror and violence and haunting,
or how safe spaces are only safe for those worthy of protection or care or visibility.

We, the Africana Studies Program Committee,
Condemn our institutional culture that enables racism,
laments any power of faculty, administrators, and students that is not
Overtly and loudly on the side of Justice,
And call to action all who know what a noose means.

This is not about a sock monkey.

This Statement has been endorsed by the following Departments and Programs:

The Department of Anthropology and Sociology
The Department of Art and Art History
The Buckman Center for International Education
The Department of Chemistry
The Education Studies Program
The Environmental Studies and Sciences Program
The Film Studies Program
The Gender and Sexuality Studies Program
The Department of International Studies
The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
The Memphis Center
The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures
The Department of Music
The Department of Psychology
The Department of Religious Studies
The Department of Theater
The Mike Curb Institute for Music
The Urban Studies Program