On May 25, 2020, George Floyd was killed by negligence and inhumanity of the highest degree. The crime was perpetrated by a man sworn to protect and serve the community and its citizens. Unfortunately, this is just the latest iteration of an institutionalized problem that has plagued this nation since its inception. Racism.
The Japanese American Citizens League’s Pacific Southwest District stands in solidarity with the protesters who are risking their lives by lawfully protesting the systematic discrimination that black Americans face on a daily basis. This problem can only be solved through the cooperation of all Americans. The JACL PSW hopes to devote its resources to furthering the cause of equality for black Americans and all other races and creeds.
The JACL PSW condemns the actions of police officers who abuse the power granted to them by discriminating against black Americans. The damage that these individuals wreak is two-fold.
The first and most important consequence is that black Americans are forced to live in constant fear for no reason other than the color of their skin. The second is that their actions vilify the entire police force, which makes it harder for officers who justly uphold the law to perform their duties.
Individuals who use this tragedy as a pretext for crime and violence mitigate the protesters’ message of equality and pursuit of justice. They harm our community by destroying property and looting small businesses that are already suffering from the effects of COVID-19.
The use of violence gives those who are prejudiced a reason to strike down this noble struggle. We must distinguish ourselves from these individuals who undermine our mission to right the wrongs committed by racists and bigots.
This problem has been a scourge on America for too long. Now is the time to make a difference.
The road to reform will be slow, so we mustn’t allow ourselves to become complacent and forget about the tragedy committed in Minneapolis.
Protester. Police. Black. White. Latinx. Indigenous American. Asian and Pacific Islander. LGBTQ. Straight. No matter what defines us, everyone who believes that black lives matter must band together to champion the cause of equality. We will seek justice for our brothers and sisters, and we will hold those who kill and hide behind a badge accountable for their actions.
Our Declaration of Independence proclaims, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
We will create a society where this sentiment is made a reality. So long as individuals and institutions discriminate against our neighbors and friends, depriving them of their God-given rights, we will stand together to stop this injustice.
Black Lives Matter.