August 31, 2020
It has been mere months since people across the country condemned the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others, and here we are again.
Recent police shootings have killed Trayford Pellerin in Lafayette, Louisiana, and paralyzed Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. And in Kenosha, a white man shot three protesters at a Black Lives Matter march, killing Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum and wounding Gaige Grosskreutz. These five shootings must be investigated and the perpetrators (both individuals and institutions) held responsible.
We are angered by the continued disregard for Black lives. We are frustrated that anti-Blackness and white supremacy continue to course through our institutions and relationships. We stand with our Black colleagues and friends, for whom these incidents are terrifying, exhausting, and a visceral reminder of the very real violence that racism constantly inflicts.
The month of August, and especially August 28, has long been a time of Black reckoning and trauma not just in this country, but around the world. Emmett Till, Yusuf Hawkins, Michael Brown, Korryn Gaines, Kenney Watkins, John Crawford III, and others died in August. The not-guilty verdict in the killing of Trayvon Martin happened in August. August 28 is a particularly harrowing (and sometimes celebratory) day because of the following:
We must do more. Yard signs and statements (like this one) can be helpful, but they are hollow if we do not participate in a greater transformation and re-envisioning of how we operate as a society and as human beings. We must dismantle the systems that perpetuate oppression and build communities where liberation is the norm.
Below are a few ways to learn more and take action in this current moment:
GoFundMe pages set up by the families of Jacob Blake and Trayford Pellerin
On Mashable: “How to demand justice for Jacob Blake and support Kenosha protesters” – Includes contact information for officials in Kenosha and the Wisconsin Department of Justice.