George Floyd. Ahmaud Arbery. David McAtee. Breonna Taylor. Nina Pop. Tony McDade. Say their names, we must say their names.
Countless many more Black lives have been taken by state-sanctioned violence and police brutality. The pain we are experiencing from this is all too familiar. We are exhausted, but underneath the weight we carry lies anticipation for a better world. The words of James Baldwin illustrate this quite clearly: “History is not the past, it is the present. We carry our history with us. We are our history.”
In times like these, we hold our breaths, and sometimes – our breath is taken from us. We go into our embedded trauma responses of fight, flight, or freeze. These ingrained bodily responses are not new to Black communities because the very DNA of our country was created through systemic racism & white supremacy that fuels state sanctioned violence and police brutality.
As we are entering into Pride month, we must recognize its historical significance, with its roots going back to Black trans women being on the front lines that led into the Stonewall riots. Today is no different. Today’s protests stem from the historical plight that Black people, Indigenous people, communities of color, and marginalized communities have had to face even before the birth of this country.
To the Black communities and communities of color who are deep in the trenches right now – we see you, we hear you, and we follow your leadership. To all survivors of violence: we are with you as you exercise your right to self-determine.
We cannot ignore the fact that all forms of violence are connected. We must weave the anti-violence movement with the Black Lives Matter movement. Together we are strong and together we can design a future where we can carry our history with resilience.
The following links and resources are intended for your use to get involved, receive/offer support, and engage in anti-racist work.
The Oregon Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
~We can only achieve collective liberation when we dismantle systems of oppression that impact us all.