The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

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Letter to the Editor: Solidarity with Arthur Jackson workers

Letter+to+the+Editor%3A+Solidarity+with+Arthur+Jackson+workers

In support of Arthur Jackson workers:

I applaud and support the rally last Thursday by Arthur Jackson workers and their supporters to advocate for a more livable wage.

I was deeply troubled, however, when The Hawk reported that Arthur Jackson workers delivering their petition were met at Regis by the head of security. We often talk about St. Joe’s as a “community” or a “family,” without thinking critically about those metaphors. Do you meet a member of your family who disagrees with you at the door and not let them in? Do you lock community members out? Does a just community respond to disagreement with fear?

“Creating community,” critical race theorist Patricia Williams writes, “involves this most difficult work of negotiating real divisions . . . of pondering our differences before we can ever agree on the terms of our sameness.” To create a just community at St. Joe’s, we must recognize the systemic injustice of underpaying Arthur Jackson workers and stand in solidarity with them.

Since the president was not available to meet with Arthur Jackson workers, then the cleaners could have been welcomed into Regis by an appropriate substitute. To meet people who work with us every day with security shows just how far from the magis we are.

For a predominantly white institution to meet mostly black and brown service workers with fear highlights the systemic, color blind racism that is of a piece with how St. Joe’s deals with matters of race in general. We must do better.

In solidarity, Ann E. Green, Ph.D. Professor of English

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