To the Editor:
On Saturday, the executive board of the Cornell Republicans published a response to a column written by Andrew Lorenzen ’22 a day prior, which criticized the group’s lack of response in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. In light of the recent Black Lives Matter protests that have gripped America’s largest cities and brought issues of police brutality and racial injustice to the forefront of the media once again, we found in the group’s response little more than a vapid attempt to legitimize their continued inaction. We call here for the Cornell Republicans to publicly acknowledge that Black lives matter, and, in doing so, affirm the existence of systemic racism, institutional oppression and widespread racist police brutality. In their response meant “to set the record straight” on past silence, the Cornell Republicans reasoned that “an expression of discontent with current popular opinions, such as defunding police departments” would cause unrest in the campus political climate. However, the Cornell Republicans have previously not shied away from entertaining potentially contentious discussions – however unpopular – with little regard for the impacts they may have on campus climate.