May 25, 2020 was one of the most chilling days this country has seen in my lifetime. A father, a son, a Black father, a Black son, a Black man, was beaten, suffocated and murdered in broad daylight by the “Boys in Blue." This was recorded, and America bared witness to a public lynching. This…

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This letter to the editor was written by Candis Watts Smith, associate professor of political science and African American studies, and Christopher Witko, associate director of the School of Public Policy and professor of public policy and political science.

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I have been at Penn State since 2002. I am the only tenured African American professor in the history of the Penn State political science department. How long is that? George Atherton taught political science at PSU in the 19th century: yes, that Atherton. Think about it: the United States h…