Everything Common Wealth Development works to build in our community is affected by the continued perpetuation of violent systems of oppression. The truth is that all of the work we do, from advocating for healthy housing, to fighting for equitable economic development, to working towards sustainable land use, is necessary because we live in an unjust and racist society. That is a daily reality for those of us who do this work, and while we are committed to the fight, we know the challenges will keep coming. The status quo guarantees that poor people will remain poor, white people (mostly men) will continue to hold power, and black people will continue to be persecuted, jailed, and murdered by the state.
We join the thousands of protestors in the streets saying the name of George Floyd, who was murdered by police in Minneapolis. The collective pain for his family is matched only by the weight of knowing that this will happen again. We grieve not just for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Nina Pop, and David McAtee, who was killed by Louisville Police while protesting the death of George Floyd, but for the thousands of times it has happened before. Right now, we are talking about state-sanctioned murder. But is that really where we’ve chosen to draw the line of outrage? If a black person is abused and persecuted but somehow manages to survive, are we okay with that? If a black person is denied education, or a job, or housing, are we okay with that? If a black person cannot feel free to walk around their neighborhood without having a white woman call 911, are we okay with that?
Before any of us had even heard of COVID-19, we were in the midst of a 400 year-long public health crisis in the form of white supremacy. To anyone paying attention, it is not surprising that the impacts of COVID-19 are felt more severely by black and brown communities. When you cannot even take for granted your own safety when you are in your own home, how do you ever rest? The body holds trauma, and there is no way it can withstand the daily assault that comes with being black in America without starting to break down. Every associated health condition that puts people at greater risk for COVID-19 is correlated with stress.
If people can’t live their lives without the fear of persecution and death, if they can’t walk the streets without feeling like they are targeted as an enemy of the state just for being alive, then we have lost our way.
Today we stand in solidarity with the organizations organizing for structural change and for justice. Please consider supporting Freedom, Inc, and Urban Triage in support of a new path forward.
Common Wealth Development, Inc.