As a black woman who raised a son and two stepsons, witnessing yet another black man brutally murdered by police was a painful reminder of the fear black mothers across the country feel every day. And it’s impossible, after a delayed response, followed by an inadequate response, not to feel both disappointment and rage. Having this incident and the national protests proximate to the horrific health and economic disparities in communities of color laid bare by COVID-19’s impact intensifies our collective turmoil.
The Children’s Defense Fund – New York, as an organization born from the civil rights movement, grieves the senseless loss of George Floyd’s life at the hands of law enforcement officers. We remain unconditionally committed to dismantling systemic racism and erasing the policies and practices that continue to poison, disadvantage, wrongfully imprison, and yes, even murder black and brown people. We reaffirm our allegiance to those who join together in protest to demand an end to brutal assaults on men, women and children of color and we vow to fight alongside you until all children and their families are protected and have what they need to thrive in this rich nation. Together, we can and must do better.
The words of our Founder, Marian Wright Edelman, resonate as deeply today as they did after Charleston:
“Until the United States sees and cures its profoundly evil birth defects of slavery, Native American genocide, and the exclusion of all women and non-propertied men of all colors from our electoral process, these birth defects will continue to flare up in multiple guises to threaten our Black community’s and everyone’s safety, our nation’s future, and render hollow our professed but still inadequate commitment to ensuring equality for all.” Marian Wright Edelman from America – What do We do After Charleston, July 2, 2015