UPDATE: On Sunday, Dec. 14, a message was posted to a bulletin board near Sproul Plaza claiming responsibility for effigies found on campus Saturday morning. According to the message, signed by an anonymous artist collective, the effigies’ intent was to connect police brutality to past lynchings.
Chancellor Nicholas Dirks and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Claude Steele sent the following message to students today (Sunday, Dec. 14):
Dear campus community,
On Saturday morning, two hanging effigies were left on Sather Gate with reports of a third elsewhere on campus. We are not sure about the intent of these effigies as one contained the words “Can’t Breathe,” but nonetheless, the imagery was deeply disturbing.
The African American community has historically faced the terrorism of lynchings used in an attempt to suppress and control. While we do not know the intent of the effigies, the impact that it has had on our campus community is undeniable.
No individual or group has claimed responsibility. If you were responsible for this, we invite you to come forward.
We must all be vigilant to ensure that we are creating a campus environment that allows for the free exchange of ideas and doesn’t frighten or intimidate people. Our campus climate reminds us that we still have great deal of work to do to make this campus a welcoming place for all members.
We have been and will continue to work with the student leadership, the Black Student Union and others on campus staff and groups to create opportunities to address the concerns and develop a plan for improving our campus climate, not only related to these effigies but also the events of the past several weeks.
We recognize the stress and anxiety that current events are generating for the members of our extended community, and have faith that we will emerge stronger and more unified, precisely through our commitment to realizing the inclusion and justice that have long been the promise of this institution and this country.
Chancellor Nicholas B. Dirks
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, Claude Steele