Statement on the murder of George Floyd

To our members, allies, friends and community:

It is with heavy and troubled hearts that we speak with you today. At a time when there is civil unrest in the United States, we take the time to reflect on our past and look forward towards the future with an urgency to right the wrongs of our shared history.

The past several weeks and months have been a test of resolve for not only African-Americans and the American people but for all global citizens. Our world has become interconnected in a way that previous generations only dreamed of. What happens half a world away can affect decisions being made at the federal, state, and local levels here in the United States. Regardless of where you are from, we are all citizens of the same world, and we are in this struggle together. We see and feel this interconnectedness with the international outcry in response to the brutal murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the latest in a string of murders committed by uniformed and plainclothes police officers in the United States.

It is with this in mind that we unequivocally and emphatically denounce the actions not only of the individuals that participated in these murders but the police departments that train these officers, allow their deplorable actions to go unpunished, or issue slap-on-the-wrist reprimands while not even beginning to address the suffering of the families of the victims that endures for years after. We unequivocally and emphatically denounce a justice system that does not place the same value on a black life as it would on a white one. These events bring to light the often-quoted legal maxim, “Justice must not only be done; it must also be seen to be done.” We unequivocally and emphatically denounce any and all political leaders or political parties that stand by silently or, worse, spout inflammatory rhetoric at a time when people crave justice, leadership and guidance from their elected officials.

Many of our members, allies, and friends do not know what to say or how to say it, and for this we do not fault them. It is difficult responding to situations when you cannot even think of the words to express how you are feeling. At this time, we encourage maintaining a healthy distance to allow individuals time to process, feel, and, in some cases, grieve.

We sincerely hope that this will be a watershed moment in our collective histories where we will be able to look back at this time and say that this was the moment that changed everything. We look towards the future with all of its hope and promise and ask you all to make the world better in any way that you can. If you cannot change the world that we all live in, then at least change the world that you live in.

In solidarity,

BBSA leadership