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RIP Jim Crow

Fighting Racism through Higher Education Policy, Curriculum, and Cultural Interventions

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Edited By Virginia Stead

Together we can build enough momentum to see Jim Crow lying silent and still in his grave.
This book shouts out ways that we can and must respond to the sickening accumulation of racially inspired and systemically sanctioned deaths. Today, we remember the passing of young, Black Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. In responding to this event, we are determined to dismantle the alexithymia (indifference to the suffering of others) that pervades our campuses. It is nothing less than a by-product of racism protected by the illusion of democracy.
RIP Jim Crow contains three sections: (1) Antiracist Theory and Policy; (2) Antiracist Administration, Curriculum, and Pedagogy; and (3) Antiracist Cultural Interventions.
Each of the 31 chapters contributes to the normalization of anti-racist policy within academic institutions, antiracist discourse within academic cultures, and institutional praxis that upholds speaking out against racist activity. The hope is that this book will also reduce racism in the broader world through academic relationships with community partners.
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Chapter Seven: “Basta Ya!” “Enough!” “Pa’lante!” A Lesson on Latinidad Struggle and Activism in the Academy

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CHAPTER SEVEN

“Basta Ya!” “Enough!” “Pa’lante!”

A Lesson on Latinidad Struggle and Activism in the Academy

JASON MENDEZ AND SARAH VEGA



I do not think that life will change for the better without an assault on the Establishment, which goes on exploiting the wretched of the earth. This belief lies at the heart of the concept of revolutionary suicide. Thus it is better to oppose the forces that would drive me to self-murder than to endure them. Although I risk the likelihood of death, there is at least the possibility, if not the probability, of changing intolerable conditions.

—NEWTON (1973, P. 3)

[Authors’ Note: The “Establishment” refers to the power structure, based on the economic infrastructure, propped up and reinforced by the media and all the secondary educational and cultural institutions.]

SURVIVE OR FLOURISH

A good friend and colleague invited me to his university for the Black Faculty and Staff Association’s summit on achieving success in the academy. The summit could not have come at a better time. I was in dire need of support and guidance as I, a Latino professor, was in the thick of navigating my own institutional challenges with Whiteness, power, and privilege. The summit began with a panel of Black faculty sharing horror story after horror story about their experiences during the promotion and tenure process.

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