George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Dimas Diaz. Stephanie Quiroz. Jimmy Atchinson. These are just five of the 1,038 Americans who have been killed by police over the past 12 months. All five were unarmed and all were people of color. Indeed, according to data from the Washington Post, African-Americans are more than twice as likely and Hispanics are 1.5 times more likely to be killed by the police than white Americans. How do we overcome systemic racism? How do we stay hopeful in the wake of so much tragedy?
We look for signs of change that we’ve never seen before such as the police reforms just announced in Albany, including rolling back Rule 50a that kept private the record of complaints filed and disciplinary actions taken against police officers. We look at the diversity of the hundreds of thousands of people peacefully protesting in the streets, and the now overwhelming majority of Americans who favor stronger gun control laws, and the success of books like Ibram X. Kendi’s How to be an Antiracist, Robin Diangelo’s White Fragility and Stacey Abrams’ Our Time is Now.
Most of all, we act in our communities, supporting better funded schools, youth sports and arts programs, better health, social and transportation solutions for the working poor, disabled or elderly, taking the time to welcome and talk to our neighbors regardless of race, religion or ethnicity. We act by encouraging and voting for progressive Democratic lawmakers, particularly women and people of color, who will better represent all of the members of our community and fight for equal economic opportunities, civil rights and environmental justice.
This is in keeping with the mission of the Dutchess Democratic Women’s Caucus to encourage, support and vote for Democratic women, including women of color. If you want to make a difference, vote for candidates who believe in what you do, who stand up for the oppressed and the underrepresented. If you want to make a difference, contact us about how you can get involved, including how you can run for office.
The time for change has never been more important. The time for change is now. Because Black Lives Matter.