Black Lives Matter

June 4, 2020

This week, we are deeply saddened and outraged by:

  • The violence against Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, George Floyd, and so many Black people before them;
  • Ongoing systemic racism; and
  • The dehumanizing ways that people across the country but particularly in our home community of Washington, D.C. have been treated as they have courageously spoken out against these injustices.

We condemn these acts of violence and the systemic oppression that allows their continued occurrence and are grateful to everyone who has done the same in various ways. Our work is rooted in the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement and the legal protections that were secured as a result of it; we are committed to ensuring that our work honors this legacy.

The events of the last week have been all consuming. We believe it is important to acknowledge the gravity of their implications. Ultimately, we will continue to fight racial injustice through our work to eliminate discrimination in order to help bring about a more just world.

Context:

Economic and health effects of coronavirus in the black community fuel protests for George Floyd

Andre M. Perry, a fellow at the Brookings Institution, says the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police and the consequent protests are the result of a racist system that cannot be looked at only within the context of policing. “This is about a fatigue of policy violence in all areas of life.” (Washington Post)

How today’s protests compare to 1968, explained by a historian

“Not only is the wanton murder of black men by racist whites similar to what has happened before in history, but so is today’s collective uprising. It’s a mix of protest in terms of carrying signs and slogans, but also rage and tears and lashing out. And, like in the 1960s, there has been some looting, because the glaring injustice of racial inequality is time and again accompanied by the injustice of economic inequality.” (Vox)

Historical Highlights – The Fair Housing Act of 1968

In 1968 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated and protests quickly broke out across the nation. The Fair Housing Act, which had stagnated in Congress for two years, was signed into law a week later. (House of Representatives History, Art, & Archives)

The Tulsa race massacre at “Black Wall Street” took place 99 years ago

“As protests erupt across the country in reaction to George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police, America is also marking the anniversary of one of its worst incidents of racial violence — and one that was covered up for decades. May 31 and June 1 mark the 99th anniversary of the 1921 Tulsa race massacre, when a white mob descended on an affluent black community in Tulsa, Oklahoma.” (Vox)

What to do:

Donate to bail funds and community organizations combatting police brutality.

Read up on anti-racism resources.

Explore this “Talking About Race” web portal published by the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Work your way through this anti-racism reading guide.

^Buy your books from a local Black-owned book store.

Leave a Comment

ERC Logo

Start typing and press Enter to search