Broward for Progress Statement against racism
Updated: Jun 7, 2020
At Broward for Progress, we are deeply saddened and outraged at the murder of George Floyd who, like so many before him, died in police custody. We are also disgusted at the inappropriate, prolonged attacks against protesters across the nation.
Dr. Martin Luther King himself spoke on times like these:
“Certain conditions continue to exist in our society, which must be condemned as vigorously as we condemn riots. But in the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard . And what is it that America has failed to hear? […] It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice, equality and humanity. And so in a real sense our nation’s summers of riots are caused by our nation’s winters of delay . And as long as America postpones justice, we stand in the position of having these recurrences of violence and riots over and over again. Social justice and progress are the absolute guarantors of riot prevention .” (Stanford University, 1967)
Like Dr. King, we believe that rioting is a legitimate form of protest when the voices speaking out against these injustices have remained unheard for so long.
We recognize that our country was built on oppression and that the black community has experienced discrimination, hatred, and violence at the hands of white people for centuries. We carry the names and stories of George Floyd and the countless victims that came before him in our hearts every day. We acknowledge our own privilege and complicity in perpetuating the systems that actively oppress POC as well as our own racial biases and individual acts that may have harmed our black and brown brothers and sisters. We can and must do better.
We stand together in solidarity to say ENOUGH . We stand against racism, police brutality, white supremacy, and racial injustice in all its other forms. We stand to listen and truly hear the education so generously offered by black voices today. We stand for the journalists who are showing up to document the protests and share the truth. We stand behind the Black Lives Matter movement and other black-led organizations that are leading this fight. And we stand to dismantle state-sponsored racism and terrorism against POC by taking the following actions:
We are calling upon our representatives to denounce racist actions and policies, white supremacists and their followers, and the provocation of violence against POC.
We are calling upon our representatives to condemn the government’s use of military force against its own people on American soil and demand that protesters be allowed to use their First Amendment right to free speech in peace.
We are calling upon our representatives to pass legislation to create a commission to study the effects of slavery and recommend the reparations as repayment to those whose ancestors were forced into the slave trade and to begin to heal these deep wounds.
We are calling upon our representatives to support the reinstatement of civil rights policies to protect and defend POC that the Trump administration has systematically rolled back.
We are calling upon our representatives to take on racial issues such as red-lining, the school-to-prison pipeline, disparities in healthcare and education, and gerrymandering and other black voter suppression issues.
We are calling upon our representatives to create a national task force to draft legislation aimed to end racial violence, increase police accountability, and address the myriad problems within the criminal justice system.
We are calling upon our representatives to create a database of police officers who have used excessive force and ban their employment, stop providing the police with military weapons, and require transparency in police records and budgets.
We must take responsibility for our past, acknowledge the effects it has had, and commit to the fight for justice and equity. We will not rest until all of our brothers and sisters are safe.
We are collecting resources to add to our website for additional education on these issues, black-led organizations and leaders to follow, organizations who support POC and bail funds for protesters to which you can donate, and more.
Laurie, Ana, and Jayme
Broward for Progress co-leaders