No One Exists Alone
Our hearts are heavy. We are angry. The world is hurting.
The Women’s Center condemns the horrific killings of Michelle Go and Christina Yuna Lee. Michelle Go, a 40-year-old Chinese American, was pushed into the path of an oncoming subway train on January 15, 2022. Weeks later, Christina Yuna Lee, a 35-year-old Korean American, was followed home and killed in her apartment on February 13, 2022. We mourn for their family and friends.
While this week's convictions in Minnesota and Georgia bring a measure of justice, we still grieve with the families and communities there. The convictions of Ahmaud Arbery's killers on federal hate crimes can never bring him back to life. Finding the ex-officers who failed to intervene in George Floyd's death guilty of violating his civil rights can never bring him back to life.
Now, a continent away, the people of Ukraine are suffering from the invasion of the Russian military . While not directly related to the individual killings in New York, we know that the horror and pain that violence causes are universal. In both instances, communities are traumatized and fearful by actions driven by hatred.
I was reminded today of the closing of W. H. Auden's poem, "September 1, 1939":
And no one exists alone;
Hunger allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love one another or die.
Defenceless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.
The Women’s Center stands in solidarity with the members of our community here who are hurting from these acts of violence. In these disparate acts, we see a common thread of inequity, of failing to value others as fully human. In the face of pain and suffering, we affirm the need for community care and robust mental health resources. As Auden reminds us, from the person suffering from a lack of mental health resources to the women and men targeted for their ethnicity or race, to the country facing the horror of war, "no one exists alone."
We want to remind all UVA students, as well as the faculty, staff and parents across the University community who care about them, that we are here to provide support and information about available resources. If you would like further information about the process of absorbing, honoring, and attending to traumatic events in the news, you can find that in this post from earlier this year.
We hold the members of our community who are suffering in our thoughts. May we each be an affirming flame for each other as we work for a world shaped by justice.