The power of the people and the protests of the last several days not only in our streets but all across the world has been earthshaking. A very real and symbolic shock of energy has traveled around our planet. Brutally cold images have struck the hearts of millions and shades of South African Apartheid have played out in the streets of our country – the United States of America.
I watched, with the rest of the world, as a white policeman casually and forcefully for 8 minutes put his knee on the back of George Floyd’s neck even as he kept saying, “I can’t breathe,” over and over. It was horrific. This image is symbolic of what white America has been doing to black people for centuries on many levels. I also remember the murder of Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Trayvon Martin and so many others. It’s clear to me that our society has tried to distort these killings of unarmed Black people as isolated incidents, but of course, it is obvious they are not. Please join me to take daily actions to stop this now.
We are now reaping the seeds sown in our history that we have refused to acknowledge, admit to and learn from. As a white, senior woman I know I can step out and speak out without too much fear of reprisal. Acknowledging my privilege, I am committed to stand up and fight systematic racism. I fight every day for inclusion, equity, civil rights, and accountability in our criminal justice system. Police brutality, police unaccountability, militarized police, predatory economic inequality and a broken healthcare system are unjust tenants that have been left to continue and thrive in America.
Current leadership sponsors the culture and normalization of far right zealots with wars on factual truth, science and human decency. My heart breaks for the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless more murders that have gone unacknowledged and without video. The pandemic has also exposed incredible cracks in our society that have been left too long to fester.
To fix these problems and salvage America it isn’t enough to vote out the current leaders of our country, we must elect leaders to enact change on every level of government. Leaders must be willing to look deep at our belief systems and our privilege and speak truth to ourselves, and everyone we meet and stand up for our black brothers and sisters and take action to support their businesses and organizations. Yes, fight everyday so that POC can live and breathe without fear. It is our responsibility to share the truth and help educate people and help them understand that science is science, facts are not fake, and Black Lives Matter.
Below are some resources to help you take your next steps in this work.
- Black Lives Matter
- The Tacoma Urban League
- The Northwest Community Bail Fund
- The National Bail Fund Network
- Campaign Zero
- George Floyd Memorial Fund
- The Black Visions Collective
- Reading List to Educate Yourself on Anti Racism Work
Yanah G Cook