A reflection from Tahirih’s African Diaspora Caucus
May 25, 2021 marked one year since George Floyd, a Black man, was viciously murdered on camera by a White, former Minneapolis police officer named Derek Chauvin. After the video went viral, protests erupted worldwide — and now most of us no longer have the liberty to say that we’ve never witnessed a murder.
White Supremacy pulled back its hood and showed its bare face loud and clear to all who ever doubted its capability.
This wasn’t the first time, and it has proven not to be the last.
The Black community took one step forward when Chauvin was found guilty of murder and manslaughter for George Floyd’s death last month, and some instantly felt that Chauvin had been held accountable. But, was the verdict really a step forward or just the willingness of White Supremacy to sacrifice one of their own to maintain the status quo?
On the same day, the Black community also took another three steps backward, because moments before the Chauvin verdict was announced another Black child was shot and killed by a police officer. This time it was a 16-year-old girl in Columbus, Ohio named Ma’Khia Bryant.
And still, people were debating whether or not her murder was “justified.”
History is repeating itself once again, and we are reminded that dismantling White Supremacy is a constant struggle.
After the 2020 presidential election, over 30 states have introduced voter suppression laws and anti-protest legislation, continuing the disenfranchisement of Black people in this country, also known as the modern-day version of Jim Crow laws. Since George Floyd’s murder, we have witnessed protests worldwide from people of all colors and backgrounds. “Black Lives Matter” yard signs have been added to front lawns and we’ve read countless statements from some of our favorite retailers and other businesses expressing their concern and support for the Black community.
What does all of this really mean? Silence is acceptance, but authenticity is EVERYTHING.
We’re still fighting an exhausting, ongoing battle. In order to affect real change, where we go from here needs to come from a place of real allyship.
We need to continue to fight for policy changes in our safety, health, labor, and other public systems that reflect the goal of dismantling institutionalized racism and violence.
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.
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.