LETTER TO THE EDITOR: The time to dismantle systemic racism is now
The killing of George Floyd and the deaths of countless other black people murdered by lawless police and hate organizations across America makes clear the need for drastic, intentional changes to eradicate biases and prejudices toward people of color, especially black people, who built this country from our blood, sweat and tears during the height of slavery and colonialism.
In addition to the institutionalized racism in how our communities are policed, black people and people of color are also disproportionately harmed by environmental and public health threats, such as lead poisoning, asthma and mold — all of which are associated with factors like substandard housing and air pollution, and because we live in higher numbers near coal plants and other toxic facilities.
In the black community, we also find many examples of parents who have sacrificed their education to provide for their children, while earning wages far below the average pay scale when compared to non-black families, who receive the cream of the crop from the resources and opportunities America has to offer.
I often ask myself: When will we receive equal justice in the United States of America? The Constitution says, “No state shall deny any person the equal protection of the law,” and the Declaration of Independence notes, “All men are created equal.” These decrees must be enforced and statistically proven for all citizens, especially black people, who are a pillar of civilization and culture in this country.
The time is now. No more broken promises, no more having to ask for things we are already entitled to as citizens.
George Floyd’s horrible death has created both a national and global movement to create opportunities for changes to take place. His murder is the straw that broke the camel’s back, even though there are countless others who have also died due to police brutality, racism and structural injustice.
In most cases to date, the people in power have been slow to deliver justice, ignored or simply accepted corruption and protected police from prosecution.
We have reached a galvanizing moment to take notice and action, so that hatred toward black, indigenous and people of color will not be tolerated anymore, and we can demand that this country finally live up to its promise of liberty and justice for all.