Rutland Institute for Ethics

Say Their Name


Enough Is Enough; We Must Walk the Talk

The Rutland Institute for Ethics’ Commitment to Promoting Racial Equality
June 2020

Our Realization

Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd. Three recent names in a long list of martyrs unwittingly and unwillingly tasked with the re-awakening of racial discontentment in our nation; a nation overcome with the fumes of racial inequality. Any person casting aspersion on this national crisis is willfully ignorant of a deep pain of our nations embittered founding. 

This nation, likened to a slumbering behemoth, has again been awakened by the proverbial and literal blunt force trauma of police brutality, which serves as an ever-present and ever-repeating representation of just how misaligned our justice system is. The latest occurrences serve as a bitter reminder that inequality yet exists, despite the desire of some leaders to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to what is painfully obvious. As thought leaders engaged in the instruction and sharpening of critical thinking skills, it is incumbent upon us as academicians to be the change we so fervently teach our students to consider as they pursue a better tomorrow. 

The Rutland Institute for Ethics at Clemson University mourns with those who mourn; we cry with those who have lost loved ones in brutal and unexplained ways in the name of misguided justice. We stand in solidarity with all of those who not only understand our nation’s systemic and embedded inequalities, but more importantly we stand with those who are honestly and actively seeking to improve race relations through change at the grass roots level. In essence, we stand with those who demonstrate a propensity to “walk the talk” of change.

Our Pledge

This is the time for a great American re-awakening. As of June 2020, the leadership of Clemson University has publicly acknowledged its vintage history of racial inequality and has agreed to change several names associated with controversial historical figures intricately involved in the founding of our great university. The Rutland Institute for Ethics believes this action to be a step in the right direction of creating a holistic and welcoming environment for all Clemson University students. In accord with the university, The Rutland Institute for Ethics pledges to actively and annually pursue engagement in co-curricular and/or academic programming that challenges our student body to consider the intersection of racial justice and ethics. It is of paramount importance that the students of Clemson University – regardless of race, creed, gender, ethnicity, or any other identification – be exposed to and engaged in the pedagogy of social and racial justice, and the Rutland Institute for Ethics will position itself to be a programmatic leader in bringing this to fruition.