“Right now, Minneapolis and cities across our country are on fire, and our people are hurting—the violence against Black bodies felt in the ongoing mass disobedience, all while we grapple with a pandemic that is disproportionately affecting, infecting, and killing us.” —Black Lives Matter
Green America condemns the killing of George Floyd who is one of so many Black people killed by the police. Recent, terrible events—the pervasiveness of brutality and killing by police of Black and Brown Americans, and the disproportionate suffering and death by COVID-19 in communities of color—are manifestations of hundreds of years of white-privilege policy-making and decision-making at every level of society.
To create a world where all people are valued equally, we need systemic change. The police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others as well as the COVID-19 pandemic’s unjust toll on people of color require that our society forges a better way forward.
Our statement on the COVID-19 crisis and call for action recognizes that the long-term well-being of our nation depends on the well-being of all of us. We need to transform our systems because these recent examples of injustice are not anomalies, they are the norm for many people.
In the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder, protests have broken out nationwide. The government at all levels has focused on violently suppressing, and escalating, protests in American cities without addressing the systemic racism that is the cause of the protests. As Martin Luther King Jr. made clear, we cannot have true justice as long as we value “a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice.”
This is a time to listen, learn from, and follow Black leaders and organizations like those listed below; to raise our voices to demand justice and condemn injustice; and to amplify the voices of those so often ignored. White people can and must use their privileges to radically change and end the systems that continue to oppress people of color.
Take Action Now:
- Join community events (physically distancing) and social change organizations. Activist groups, civic associations, houses of worship, and others are increasingly mobilizing for safe communities and against police killings. Examples include Black Lives Matter, Color of Change, Anti Police-Terror Project, Campaign Zero, The Bail Project, Communities Against Police Brutality, Know Your Rights Camp, Black Visions Collective Public activism at the local level is essential to getting police forces to address systemic racism.
- Join events (physically distancing) and organizations focused on the health disparities and other inequalities faced by communities of color on a regular basis and especially during COVID-19, such as Black Lives Matter; Poor People’s Campaign; Movement for Black Lives, Free Them All for Public Health; NAACP Legal Defense Fund; Real Justice PAC; Fair Fight.
- Donate to the organizations above and to those like them in your community.
- Vote for leaders dedicated to social, racial, and environmental justice.
Green America will not be passive. We will work in partnership with diverse social justice organizations and leaders to build an economy that helps solve deep social and environmental problems and to oppose the economic practices that hurt vulnerable communities. Green America invites the public to join us as we:
- Call on national leaders and join allies to demand protection of all communities during the pandemic, especially people of color, low income communities, undocumented people, and prison populations;
- Tackle the climate crisis that disproportionately impacts vulnerable communities;
- Use financial tools to fight for economic inclusion, fair pay, community development, workers’ rights, and human rights;
- Support policies that protect workers nationally and international from abuse;
- Promote safe food and agricultural practices that foster human health and a livable world, including protecting the people who harvest our produce, and the slaughterhouse, warehouse and grocery store workers who bear the brunt of racism and exploitation.
Green America’s vision calls for a world where all people have enough, where all communities are healthy and safe, and where the abundance of the Earth is preserved for all the generations to come. For us, “green” always means both social and environmental justice. Green America will continue to work for the day when this vision is a reality for all people.
“It’s up to all of us—Black, white, everyone—no matter how well-meaning we think we might be, to do the honest, uncomfortable work of rooting [racism] out; It starts with self-examination and listening to those whose lives are different from our own. It ends with justice, compassion, and empathy that manifests in our lives and on our streets.” —Michelle Obama