Statement on Murder of George Floyd and Mass Protests

The moment we are now living in our country calls on each and every one of us to stand for justice, affirming loudly, unequivocally that Black Lives Matter. We at Public Advocates condemn the horrific police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis and join the nation in mourning the tragic loss of Mr. Floyd to his family and community.

We also join with the millions of voices declaring, here and around the world: enough is enough. We stand in support and deep admiration of the Black-led, multiracial, multi-generational mass movement that is sweeping the nation. It is a movement of hundreds of thousands of people who despite the threats of the Coronavirus and militarized police dare to risk their own lives to stand for justice.

They defy their fears to take to the streets to dismantle once and for all the systemic racism, the police violence, the indifference to injustice that fueled the murder of George Floyd, as well as countless other Black people including most recently, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery and Dreasjon Reed. The pain, sadness, and righteous anger that so many of us feel at this moment honors the humanity of these victims of police violence. So will our collective action to forge a more just and democratic society.

Right now, in the confluence of the COVID-19 pandemic and the enormous response to the killing of yet another Black man by police, we are seeing our people at their most courageous. They are the heroes both willing to risk their own welfare to defend justice and democracy; and the heroes on the frontlines of the battle against the Coronavirus which disproportionately impacts Black people and other people of color—our medical workers selflessly caring for the sick, and the essential service workers ensuring many of our basic needs are met.

As this movement unfolds, we cannot stand by and let the voices of the many people calling for justice throughout the United States to be silenced by repression and government sanctioned violence. We must defend and protect our right to protest which is at the core of our democracy. We at Public Advocates strongly condemn the use of violence and calls for military intervention by the Trump administration to attempt to stop demonstrations in cities across the country, and silence voices critical of the administration.

We also resolve to work with our community partners and fellow advocates for the concrete change that is being called for to fight against white supremacy and dismantle systemic, institutionalized racism. The effects—the actual violence—of institutional racism and bias on the safety, health, education, housing, economic security and general well-being of Black people and low-income communities of color cannot be tolerated. These effects dehumanize Black lives and limit our ability to flourish as a society. We support calls for investments into people over profits and disinvestment from the police apparatus that promotes violence against communities of color.

Moreover, as we reflect on this moment, we resolve to examine our own internal structures and processes that reinforce institutional racism as well as work with and learn from those who lead efforts to fight white supremacy in all its forms.

Our values are on the line, and we at Public Advocates pledge to defend those values, as we honor the humanity and life of George Floyd. Enough is enough.

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