By now you have read several support statements from organizations and companies from all over the world, following the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, Elijah McClain and countless other Black people whose lives have been cut short by police and others who are protected by systems steeped in racism and White supremacy. The Black Lives Matter movement started in 2013 in response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman, who shot and killed Trayvon Martin, a Black unarmed teenager. And, now because of the persistent and pernicious threat that Black people face, the Black Lives Matter movement has gained traction worldwide erupting in protests, passage of new legislation, and the reopening of old court cases involving police brutality, racism, and other heinous crimes against Black people.
We are stating loud and clear: BLACK LIVES MATTER!
As allies to the Black Lives Matter movement, the Tahirih Justice Center has an obligation and a moral imperative to stand in solidarity and aggressively reject the underlying implicit and explicit threats to justice each and every time they happen. Combating anti-Blackness, racism, and White supremacy compels us to listen, learn and directly engage in proactive work that transforms broken systems into ones that ensure justice for Black and other marginalized communities. We commit to the continuous unlearning of oppressive systems, and the long-term learning of being an anti-racist organization. The African Diasporic Caucus of the Tahirih Justice Center has led the charge to identify ways that our organization can take action, uplift our Black colleagues, and provide support for the Black community.
Tahirih stands in solidarity with Black communities globally. We recognize that the oppressive systems that target the immigrant communities we serve are not divorced from the long-perpetuated violence against Black, queer, nonbinary, cisgender and transgender men, women, and children. As advocates for immigrant survivors, and in particular in acknowledgment of the distinct experience and harm Black immigrant survivors of gender-based violence face, we must end anti-Black racism and White supremacy in all its forms — in our justice system, in our communities, within our organization, and within ourselves.
We recognize that the burden of dismantling anti-Blackness and racism has been historically placed on the Black community and the work of dismantling the system needs to be done by those who benefit from the system. White people and non-Black people of color must do the work and can no longer stand idle and offer empty platitudes of support without investigating and understanding how they contribute and/or benefit.
In recognition of the countless Black, queer, nonbinary, cisgender and transgender men, women and children who have been unjustly and unconscionably assaulted, attacked and killed, we say, ENOUGH. We stand in solidarity with protesters against systemic racism, White supremacy, and the historic oppression for the Black community. The inequitable and brutal treatment of Black people in our community must stop. We’re inspired by those within our organization and within the community who are using their voices and their actions to positively affect change.
As advocates for immigrant survivors, we continue to fight against unfair, cruel, and dehumanizing immigration policies. We also mourn the loss of life, health, and access to equal opportunities suffered by Black people in the United States. We are renewed in our fight to end White supremacy and anti-Black racism. Most importantly, we recognize that these are not two different fights; they are one and the same.
We invite you to join us in this work.