When George Floyd was on the ground, with a police officer's knee on his neck, he cried out for his mother. As a mother and grandmother myself, it is heartbreaking to even think about. There is absolutely nothing I want more for my children and grandchildren than for them to feel safe; I felt that plaintive call for his mother deep in my heart.
“Protect and Serve” has never been what policing is about. Most white communities take the institution for granted, while black, indigenous, and other communities of color know its existence is for social control. Racism has been ingrained in our country from the very beginning, as the labor of generation after generation was stolen or exploited to build our railroads, our agriculture, our freeways, and our economy. It’s built into every institution, including and especially policing, and it deeply affects each of our lives today.
We are all experiencing this moment, and the last 400 years that have built up to this moment, very differently. Regardless of our different identities, ideologies, and experiences, though, the staff, board, and membership of Center for Health Progress are committed to showing up for justice every day. Police brutality is a health equity issue. White violence is a health equity issue. Racism is a public health crisis that has taken more lives than any other pandemic. We call on our elected and appointed officials to make racial justice a priority in all of their policymaking, and we call on you and communities across the nation to hold them accountable for that. Here are several ways you can take action today: