Students walked out of classrooms across campus to rally for environmental and racial justice at Stanford on Monday.
Stanford, Harvard and Yale exist as examples of private educational institutions that are highly complicit in global processes of wealth and knowledge extraction, along with anti-indigenous and anti-black violence. The institution we currently attend sits on land violently stolen from Ohlone peoples, who were forced into involuntary labor and suffered enormous abuse and death during the Mission Era. After the civil war, U.S. Army soldiers were conscripted to “bounty-hunt” Native Peoples for the purposes of land theft. The primary architect of this California Genocide was Leland Stanford, who was the governor of California at the time. Leland Stanford not only supported legislation that made the California Genocide state-sanctioned, but he also personally recruited soldiers to join the army that would hunt Native Peoples. The land Stanford now sits upon was bought with wealth and power amassed by Leland Stanford’s exploitation of Native People. He built his fortune through the Central Pacific Railroad, the completion of which led to the increased flow of the U.S. army into Plains Tribes’ territory and the near-decimation of the buffalo, both of which had specifically disastrous effects for the Indigenous people of the Great Plains.