President Tetlow speaks out amidst national protests

President+Tania+Tetlow+addresses+the+Loyola+community+at+the+President%27s+Convocation+in+2018.+Photo+credit%3A+Sidney+Ovrom

President Tania Tetlow addresses the Loyola community at the President's Convocation in 2018. Photo credit: Sidney Ovrom

Zia Sampson

University President Tania Tetlow released a statement today calling Loyola University to fight against racism in America.

The statement starts by addressing the constant fear that African Americans must fight their entire lives, fear that has existed for centuries. She discussed the different ways that African Americans are taught to act around white people , including police officers, to preserve their own safety. She also noted that very little has been done to change that in recent years.

“Our only progress seems to be to remember the names of the lives lost, not to make the killing stop,” Tetlow stated.

Tetlow also discussed the physical and mental problems that have manifested in African Americans because of the constant fear. She highlighted COVID-19, using statistics that prove African Americans are getting sick more often and dying more than white people.

“Those underlying health conditions result both from the psychological toll of racism and actual racism in the health care system, where research continues to show wide disparities in the amount and quality of care given to patients,” Tetlow said.

She closed with a call to action, saying the Loyola community needs to acknowledge the racism that exists in their lives and throughout history. She also said that uncomfortable conversations need to be had with the people around them. Tetlow called to African Americans who are in the Wolf Pack to continue to stay strong.

She also called for change.

“We change law enforcement behavior through constant training, careful hiring and general police reform. We change health care disparities by revealing them with research and altering the systems that allow them to flourish. We win the battle for hearts and minds through brave journalism, through truth-telling history, through literature and music that invites people to experience empathy.”

Tetlow concluded by saying she cannot provide comfort, instead saying “The time for thoughts and prayers has ended. Loyola, Let’s make it stop.”