This message was originally sent to the Hofstra Law community on June 2, 2020.
Dear Hofstra Law,
The death of George Floyd and, closer to home, the Central Park incident, have forced many of us to accept what communities of color already knew: we are not as far along the road to racial justice as we had willed ourselves to believe.
Confronting this polarizing reality is sobering, painful and infuriating. Our confidence as a society and as a nation is shaken; our very identity as a people is questioned. For years, we’ve repeated slogans such as “Black Lives Matter” while the images we view on our television screens imply otherwise. Any illusion that we’ve at long last entered the realm of “post-racial America” is shattered.
More than ever, we need to unite as one. This is a community problem that demands a community response. To that end, I have directed our Diversity Committee to formulate both an immediate and longer-range inclusive strategy, constructed in full cooperation with our students and the entire law school community. Our students have an invaluable viewpoint and their diverse voices and perspectives must and will be heard and respected. I will report back to you shortly on our next steps.
From the moment our students set foot at Hofstra Law to the day they traverse the stage to receive their diploma, we stress the importance of the rule of law as the route to justice and the antidote to anarchy. This is the time to put those words and that concept into action. This is the time to renew and fulfill the promise of a country free of bigotry and racial hatred, a nation where justice rules and where injustice is the arch enemy of each and every citizen and each and every institution. This is the time to recognize that man’s inhumanity to man is as old as time, and only community, community standards and ultimately the rule of law can overcome the worst impulses of the human condition.
I wish you safety and peace.
Judge Gail Prudenti