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Black Lives Matter

To Black Americans everywhere: We see you, we hear you, we value you, we support your calls for justice in the face of systemic racism. Your lives matter. The lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others matter.

We are outraged at the violence experienced by the African American community, and as Democrats, we are committed to seek justice and equity for all Americans.

Against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic (which has disproportionately affected communities of color) the President has chosen to ignore our American values, and has instead stoked the fires of division for his own political gain. It is disgusting, and unfortunately unsurprising, for this President.

At the same time, Republicans who purport to represent ALL people of their districts have taken their cues from the President, and in some cases, veered into outright racist bullying.

Twitter Thread - Ohio State Representative Nino Vitale makes racist comments about the Ohio Legislature's Black Caucus.

That’s why, as Democrats, we pledge to work with you to build resilient new systems. No party, and no candidate can promise to “fix” the issue of systemic racism. But we can promise you that we seek out candidates who acknowledge the problem, and search for pathways to change. We can promise that we raise the issue in endorsement interviews. We can promise that we actively seek to bring more black and brown voices to the table within the party, and within government at all levels. We can promise to call out forms of racism when we see them and demand accountability. Most of all, we can promise you that we will always try to improve, to learn, to listen, and to be advocates for lived equality.

If you have not had the opportunity to watch President Barack Obama’s conversation with national leaders about the history of police violence and specific reform possibilities, we encourage you to do so here: https://www.obama.org/anguish-and-action

If you would like to help, but don’t know where to start, we have a few suggestions:

  1. Donate to an organization that is fighting to end systemic racism:
    1. Black Lives Matter blacklivesmatter.com
    2. NAACP naacp.org
    3. NAACP Legal Defense Fund naacpldf.org
    4. Campaign Zero joincampaignzero.org
    5. Black Visions Collective blackvisionsmn.org
    6. ACLU of Ohio acluohio.org
  2. Register to vote now, to give yourself plenty of time to request an absentee ballot for November.
  3. Contribute to Bail Bonds for protesters:
    1. Minnesota Freedom Fund minnesotafreedomfund.org
    2. Reclaim the Block reclaimtheblock.org
    3. Liberty Fund NYC libertyfund.nyc
      1. or another charitable bail fund https://bailbondsnetwork.com/bail-bonds-funds.html
  4. Sign a petition:
    1. Justice for George Floyd chng.it/GjMhQxGrCv
    2. Justice for Breonna Taylor chng.it/yXWdxfX4GN
    3. Justice for Ahmaud Arbery chng.it/k6ddGGgDmV

While we have witnessed horrifying events in the past weeks and months, we have also seen incredible scenes of solidarity and unity.  In Missouri, a football team marched from their campus to the courthouse, knelt for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, and then 62 of them registered to vote. The idea to register to vote came from their coach, Curtis Luper, whose great-aunt Clara Luper led sit-ins to desegregate Oklahoma City in 1958.

Twitter Post - "Yesterday, Missouri football players marched from campus to the courthouse, knelt for 8 minutes and 46 seconds to honor George Floyd, then 62 of them registered to vote.  This is how change happens."

The struggles and clashes of today could be the labor pains of a new, more perfect union. It will be slow and difficult, but we believe there are just too many decent, committed people engaged in this work for it to fail. We pledge to do the work, and to help bring the nation we all dream of into the light.

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