[Polish version]

We, the undersigned Americanists of the American Studies Center and others affiliated with the University of Warsaw, express our solidarity with the peaceful protesters in the USA and around the world. Black Lives Matter. We fully support the ongoing struggle against racism and injustice in the US recently intensified by the death of George Floyd. It is clear that critical changes are needed within the US law enforcement so that African Americans will not lose their lives or be brutalized in incidents involving the police. But it is also clear that far more than police violence is at stake. Decades of systemic racism have contributed to enormous inequality in wealth, access to healthcare, education and housing as well as to job discrimination and voter suppression. Racial profiling makes African Americans much more likely to be imprisoned than whites. Many of these phenomena are exacerbated by the perpetuation of harmful stereotypes in film, television, and news media that create a false image of African Americans in the United States and the world.

As scholars of American history and culture, we are deeply concerned about their representations and perception outside the United States. We appeal to media commentators in Poland to treat the ongoing protests with the respect and thoughtfulness they deserve and to educate the public about the racial and colonial history of the United States but also that of Europe. We strongly protest the sensationalism of some of the Polish coverage of the unfolding events.

The protests have gone global. This is a historic moment that may hopefully lead to profound change, but this change cannot happen if the public conversation about it is grounded in toxic stereotyping, factual inaccuracies, selectively used statistics, and ill-willed partisan argumentation. Journalistic integrity but also common human decency requires that even contentious issues and events be presented to the public in a balanced manner relying on a solid and nuanced understanding of the American history and culture.

Regardless of our political views, we first of all see ourselves as educators committed to raising awareness of the complexity of the United States, including its racial legacies. To that end, in the following weeks the American Studies Center, University of Warsaw website will provide links to insightful articles and videos on the unfolding protests as well as their historical and cultural contexts.

 

Dr Małgorzata Durska

Dr hab. Paweł Frelik, prof. ucz.

Dr William Glass, prof. ucz.

Dr hab. Agnieszka Graff, prof. ucz.

Dr Karolina Krasuska

Dr Krystyna Mazur

 

Mgr Filip Boratyn 

Dr Jędrzej Burszta 

Dr Héctor Calleros Rodriguez

Dr Matthew Chambers 

Dr hab. Katarzyna Dembicz

Mgr Antoni Górny 

Dr Ludmiła Janion 

Mgr Gabriela Jeleńska 

Mgr Aleksandra Kamińska

Dr hab. Elżbieta Bekiesza-Korolczuk

Dr hab. Grzegorz Kość

Dr Blanka Kotlińska 

Dr Agnieszka Kotwasińska 

Dr Anna Kurowicka

Dr hab. Sylwia Kuźma-Markowska

Dr hab. Bogumiła Lisocka-Jaegermann 

Dr Karolina Lebek

Mgr Magdalena Maksimiuk 

Dr Anna Malinowska 

Dr Joanna Mąkowska 

Dr Luis Miletti

Prof. dr hab. Stanisław Obirek  

Mgr Paulina Orbitowska-Fernandez

Dr Natalia Pamuła 

Mgr Alicja Relidzyńska 

Dr Ryszard Schnepf

Dr Marta Usiekniewicz 

Dr Marta Werbanowska 

Prof. dr hab. Marek Wilczyński 

 

Dr hab. Aneta Dybska (Department of Cultural Studies, Institute of English Studies)

Dr hab. Julia Fiedorczuk-Glinecka (Department of American Literature, Institute of English Studies)

Dr hab. Ewa Łuczak, prof. ucz. (Department of American Literature, Institute of English Studies)

Dr hab. Marek Paryż. prof. ucz. (Department of American Literature, Institute of English Studies)

Dr hab. Tadeusz Pióro (Department of American Literature, Institute of English Studies)

Dr Anna Pochmara-Ryżko (Department of American Literature, Institute of English Studies)

Dr hab. Justyna Wierzchowska (Department of Cultural Studies, Institute of English Studies)

Dr hab. Justyna Włodarczyk (Department of American Literature, Institute of English Studies)

Dr Joanna Ziarkowska-Ciechanowska (Department of American Literature, Institute of English Studies)