DVC Roots fights against state-sponsored terrorism


Summer Pagán

DVC student Hassam Jawaid introducing the speakers at the panel.

Summer Pagán, Staff member

A discussion on state-sponsored terrorism towards communities of color took place at the DVC Roots panel on April 20.

The panel focused on the building of student and community resistance towards state-sponsored terrorism, which is defined as the use of violence practiced by a government against its own people.

As brought up at the DVC Roots panel, the history of using violence towards communities of color against their human and civil rights are still in effect today, from everyday policing to category of suspicion.

“This is the intent of the state: to sponsor this form of terrorism,” said Albert Ponce, a DVC political science professor, “not necessarily to remove those inhabitants who do not belong here, but to discipline them when they are here.”

Frank Ortega, a DVC sociology professor, explained that there are preconceived notions about people at the border which affects how they are dehumanized.

Ortega said that immigration detention centers in the United States, which are part of why undocumented immigrants are dehumanized, are problematic because they lack accountability since they involve disposable labor.

The final speaker of the panel was Tamisha Walker from Contra Costa Racial Justice Coalition, a program that helps eliminate racial inequity in the county.

Walker works to fight against the expansion of the Contra Costa County Jail because as she said, it could hurt communities of color.

“The Sheriff’s department gets a lot of money to operate in our communities, but doesn’t really do anything to keep people of color, especially poor people, safe,” said Walker.