Today, we all stand together with our Black colleagues, friends, family and community members who are mourning the death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Sean Reed, Ahmaud Arbery, and many, many more people who have been killed by the police or at the hands of white supremacists.
Today, we all say loudly and clearly that #BlackLivesMatter.
At RAICES, we believe that white supremacy is at the root of the injustices inflicted upon Black and Brown communities. We fully support the national demand to defund police departments across the country and reinvest in quality housing and education, financial and economic support, climate justice, healthcare for all, and mental health services.
For too long, our communities have been divided by people who believe this country belongs to them. Slave owners and segregationists hoarded wealth and power for centuries. Now, the same ideology dominates our corporate and governmental institutions, where this long history of violence towards Black and Brown people is being automated, scaled-up and made even more brutally efficient.
All of this sustains a thriving white supremacist culture that justifies the murder of Black people, tears families apart at the border, and detains and incarcerates largely Black and Brown bodies every single day.
We believe a deeper kind of intersectional work is required for us to fulfill our mission and liberate our most vulnerable communities from systemic oppression. Just like abolishing ICE, we believe that defunding the police would benefit public safety. As a country, we spend more money on jails, prisons, police forces, ICE and CBP agents and the military than on basic needs like quality housing, health care and education.
This is why we are asking you to get involved and raise your voice against racism and white supremacy. Here’s what you can do:
- Join the Movement for Black lives in this week of action and sign the Black Lives Matter petition to defund the police.
- In your hometown, figure out how much your city or county’s budget is spent on policing and start making calls. Call the mayor’s office, call the local councilmember and tell them to redirect police funds to affordable housing, to healthcare, public transport, employment trainings, any and all other public services as long as we divest from police budgets and invest in our communities.
- Donate to organizations doing the work on the ground — like BLM Los Angeles and BLM Chicago — and donate to our partners at the National Bail Fund Network.
- Educate yourself and those around you on how you can be a better ally to the Black community by confronting racism and white supremacy.
- If you’re undocumented or have DACA, you can still get involved! It is important, however, that you are informed about your rights and the consequences of an arrest before attending any in-person events.
Even though the COVID-19 pandemic has killed more than one hundred thousand people, left millions unemployed, destroyed small business, and resurfaced the need for a more equitable healthcare system, the federal government and countless state and city governments continue to prioritize police funding instead of lifting up struggling communities. This needs to change.
The immigration movement, the movement for Black lives, and all other movements for social justice — whether on behalf of LGBTQ+ communities, reproductive justice, gender equality, religious expression, climate justice or more — are inextricably intertwined. We’re not standing in symbolic solidarity with the Black community or the #BlackLivesMatter movement: together we are one, interdependent whole.
Now is the time to amplify Black voices. Now is the time to lift up opportunities for justice for the Black community and to work as one to achieve a more just and equitable future. And even as a pandemic forces us to adjust to a “new normal” today, we must never glorify or go back to the unjust “old normal” of yesterday.
We promise to never stop pushing for equal justice for all – from the courthouse to the city street – and we are honored to have your support in this fight.
Jonathan Ryan, CEO RAICES