The mission statement of the University of Notre Dame stipulates that it “does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, disability, veteran status, genetic information, or age in the administration of any of its educational programs, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, athletic and other school-administered programs, or in employment.”
Thanks to FTT graduate Liz Hynes (’17), it came to our attention that John Gaski, a Notre Dame Associate Professor of Marketing affiliated with the Mendoza College of Business, is cited by the white supremacist who drove 200 miles to murder Black grocery shoppers in Buffalo on May 14. In several of his recent non-peer reviewed publications that seem to have very little to do with his area of scholarly expertise, John Gaski develops an ideology that leaves few doubts about the reasons why a white supremacist murderer found in these writings a legitimation for his act of terror.
The FTT department expresses its great concern about the rise of white supremacy in the United States. It also reaffirms the terms of its statement on anti-racism: “[…] the members of FTT pledge a new commitment to concrete actions that expose and dismantle white supremacy; enable the betterment of conditions for Black and other historically marginalized people; escalate efforts toward diversity, equity, and inclusion; identify and interrogate implicit and explicit biases, recognize exclusionary practices past and present, and address institutional and systemic racism, including within our own spaces; and hold ourselves accountable for any failures to follow through on these actions.”
As indicated by the university’s most recent report on race and ethnicity, the enrolled student population at Notre Dame is 65.1% White, 10.5% Hispanic or Latino, 4.75% Two or More Races, 4.67% Asian, 3.21% Black or African American, 0.219% American Indian or Alaska Native, and 0.0859% Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islanders (2020). In this environment, a public statement by one of Notre Dame’s own faculty that appears to support an ideology that runs counter to our understanding of what we and Notre Dame should stand for must not go unacknowledged. The department holds on to its responsibility to confront racism in all its manifestations and expresses solidarity with BIPOC students, faculty and staff, as well as those who are fully committed to recruiting, hiring, and retaining Black scholars and to attracting and retaining Black students.