Systematic Oppression

NCDP Auxiliaries and Caucuses’ Statement on Systemic Oppression

by Lee Nackman

The North Carolina Democratic Party Auxiliaries and Caucuses join in unity to condemn the horrific and senseless murder of George Floyd, at the hands of a white Minneapolis Police Officer, while other officers stood by doing nothing. We also condemn the ongoing harassment and violence inflicted on black and brown lives, LGBTQ lives, union organizers, veterans, and religious minorities, across this country, including here in North Carolina.

We’ve watched, first in disbelief, but now in horror and disgust, as we and our siblings of color are attacked, beaten, and murdered by those who are supposed to protect and defend us. Attacked by others filled with hate, emboldened by a President whose words have encouraged the violence. Murdered by the gun-toting “militia” threatening us, shouting that people of color should “go back to where you came from”, and inciting persecution of our African-American community, our Native American community, our Hispanic/Latinx community, our American Asian and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, our LGBTQ+ community, our Jewish community, and our Muslim community. Harassment and name calling have regressed to assault, bombings and murder.

In 2020, at least 12 Transgender Women and Men, most Black and other people of color, have been murdered.

The President’s inflammatory words, such as calling COVID-19 the “Chinese virus,” have incited threats and harassment of our AAPI community, even against children. A family of three, including 3- and 6-year-old children, were stabbed in Midlands, Texas.

As reported by the CDC through 2019, our Native American community has the 2nd highest death rate caused by police encounters, followed by our Hispanic/Latinx community. In words and actions, the current Administration demonizes our Hispanic/Latinx communities with immigration policies that separate mothers from their children, puts children in cages, deports Hispanic/Latinx Veterans, ignores unsanitary and unhealthy conditions in their detention centers and denies our Dreamers protections and a pathway to citizenship.

Anti-Muslim and Anti-Semitic incidents and attacks are increasing dramatically. These acts of violence are encouraged by the rhetoric and hate speech that emanates from leaders at the highest levels. Instead of calming the waters through empathetic leadership, they fan the flames of hate.

Let us remember George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade (Black Trans Man), Monika Diamond (Trans Black Woman from Charlotte), Andre Pablo and Jordan Anchondo, Arturo Benavides, plus 19 other Hispanic/Latinx people shot during the massacre in El Paso, Texas, and so many others across all marginalized communities. We will continue to work work in solidarity to end institutional racism, misogyny, homophobia, xenophobia, Islamophobia, and anti-Semitism.

Let us also remember the vast contributions to our country of immigrants, organized Labor and our nation’s Veterans, as we work in solidarity to end suppression of labor unions and to care for our nation’s Veterans.

We echo the previous statements made by North Carolina Democratic Party Chairman, Wayne Goodwin, and African-American Caucus Chairwoman, Felita Donnell, that, “Only through sustained activism and progress will we be able to heal these deep wounds and build a country where all people are treated as equal. As long as black men and women are unsafe in our communities, the NCDP will continue to stand alongside them in the struggle for justice.”

We add to their statements the Native American, Hispanic/Latinx, LGBTQ, AAPI, Jewish-American, and Muslim- American communities, Labor Organizers, and our Veterans.

The NCDP Auxiliaries and Caucuses, Stand Together in Solidarity for Freedom, Equality, Equity, and our inalienable right, provided in the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution, Liberty and Justice for All! Libertad y Justicia para todos!! If one of us is hurt, we are all hurt!

We will lift ​Our Voices​ NOW and ​Our VOTES​ ​in NOVEMBER!

Organization Contacts:

Felita Donnell, ​Chair,​ African American Caucus – NCDP – ​aac-ncdp.org
Gracie Galloway, ​Chair​, AAPI Caucus of the NCDP – ​dr.gracie.galloway@gmail.com
Jarrett Patrick,​ President,​ CollegeDemocrats –​ president@collegedemsnc.org
Julia Buckner, ​President,​ Democratic Women of NC – ​Buckner.julia@gmail.com​ / ​democraticwomenofnc.org
David Salazar, ​President,​ Hispanic American Caucus of NC – ​salazardave@hotmail.com
Randolph Voller, ​President,​ Labor Caucus of NCDP – ​NCLaborCaucus@gmail.com
Ginger Walker, ​President,​ LGBTQ Democrats of NC – ​president@lgbtqdemocrats.org​ / ​lgbtqdemocrats.org
Crystal Cavalier, ​President,​ Native American Caucus – ​ncdemnac@gmail.com
Lee R. Nackman,​ President,​ Progressive Caucus of NCDP –​ president@pcncdp.org​ / ​pcncdp.org
Tom Rothrock, ​President​, NC Senior Democrats – ​Trothrock1@gmail.com​ / ​NCSeniorDemocrat.com
Janice Covington Allison, ​Chair​, Transgender Political Caucus – ​janicecovington1@aol.com
Wendy May, ​Chair,​ Veterans and Military Families Caucus – ​wemtmf@gmail.com
DeVonte Wilson, ​President​, Young Democrats of NC – ​dswmay20@gmail.com​ / ​ydnc.org

Lee Nackman | June 10, 2020 at 11:41 am | Categories: Uncategorized | URL: https://www.pcncdp.org/?p=669

Black Lives Matter

Diane Lemieux

June 7, 2020

What Will It Take?

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Liberty and justice for all. This is the elephant in the room. And we all know in our hearts that it is not true.

We all have heard lately about the deaths of George Floyd, Sandra Bland, Philando Castile, Eric Garner, Korryn Gaines, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, David McAtee and so many others at the hands of police or white supremists. Yet nothing has changed. This week, the majority of the people have been peacefully protesting about George Floyd’s death and racial injustice, and are being met with more police violence. That doesn’t seem to be a response indicative of a better understanding or leading to a better resolution of the problem.

What kind of country do we live in that doesn’t care about its citizens being killed by its police, who are supposed to protect us? What kind of people see what is happening and turn their heads, saying, that’s not my problem? What does it take for people to care?

It takes an understanding of HISTORY. An understanding of how African Americans have been treated throughout the past 400 years, from slavery and being counted as 3/5ths of a person to today’s police violence, mass incarceration, economic, environmental and racial discrimination, access to health care and voter suppression.

It takes EMPATHY. Do you deny any of the ways they have been and continue to be treated? Try upping your empathy quotient. I know you have heard the saying “Walk a mile in my shoes.” But what does it really mean? First, you have to make yourself vulnerable by accepting that maybe you don’t know how someone else has it. Then you have to ask them to tell you what their life is like. Then you need to believe it. After this, it might be easier to truly understand their point of view and where it comes from. Gaining empathy can be a rocky road for some, but with it, we will become one people, a nation of mutual respect and understanding.

It is going to take recognition of our WHITE PRIVILEGE to get past saying, “That’s not my problem.” Are you saying right now, “I don’t have white privilege!”? Consider this. Can you go out at night in your car without worrying you’ll be arrested or shot? Can you walk around your block without people wondering if you’re suspicious? Do you worry if your children will come home at night without becoming victims of police violence? Can you go bird watching, walk through a white neighborhood or go to a public park, without the police being called on you? Can you go jogging without worrying about being shot?  What if your car breaks down; should you call the police for help? Have you had “the talk” with your kids about what can happen to them when they’re out in public because of the color of their skin? Have the police come into your house without permission and shot your family? These are just some of the things that black people live with every day.  And you don’t.  That is white privilege.

This quote from the Southern Coalition for Social Justice Co-interim Executive Directors Allison Riggs and Ryan Roberson sums it up well. “Change will only come about when the cost of benefiting from a system of oppression that has plagued this nation becomes too high for those in power.”

We have the power to make the cost too high for those who would keep things the same. No matter how much those who have benefited try to ignore and distract us, this problem has reared its head and is not going away. The time has come to fix it.

 

Not One More Murder

The Progressive Democrats of Orange County have issued a statement, copied below.


Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Progressive Democrats of Orange County stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who continue to be the victims of racially motivated discrimination, violence and murder. We add our voices to the millions of Americans who believe in and fight for an end to the historical and institutional racism that is a bloody stain spread across our nation.

We add our voices to the calls for justice. We will not be silenced until systemic racism is banished and every person has the basic human rights of a free and fair society – equal justice, access to quality health care, housing and education, equal opportunities for employment and equal environmental protections. We must undo economic oppression from a system that flows profits from the hard work of the many into the hands of the few.

We mourn with the families and communities whose men, women and children have been murdered by the racist police state, died from neglect by the racist health care industry and wrongly incarcerated by the racist criminal justice system.

We will remember and speak the names of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Philando Castile, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Jonathan Ferrell, and so many more.

This litany of death and devastation must end. White Supremacy must end. Discrimination against people of color, oppression of those living in poverty and gender-based injustice must end.

We call on all of those who care about justice to raise their voices, loudly and continuously, until our country dismantles all racist and oppressive systems, and to exercise our rights by voting out any leaders who will not immediately work to undo all forms of discrimination, including voter suppression.

We are better than this. It’s time to prove it.

On behalf of PDOC – Rebecca Cerese, Susan Siegel, Tony Wikrent, Keith Cartwright, Kathy Kaufman, Wamiq Chowdhury, Dan Brenner, Marguerite Most, Lee Nackman

America is Burning

May 31

From Network for Public Education President, Diane Ravitch:

These are the worst of times.

Police brutality in Minneapolis murdered a black man who allegedly used a fake $20 bill. Petty crimes are adjudicated in a court of law. Police do not have the authority or right to use lethal force when confronting an unarmed person. After a long string of similar incidents where black people were unjustly murdered, the killing of George Floyd ignited protests across the nation. Some of the protests turned violent, and fires were burning in widely scattered cities in the midst of confrontations between police and protestors.

Racism is America’s deepest, most intractable sin.

The explosion of protest is unlikely to lead to any productive change until the racists in the White House are ousted and replaced by people who determined to fight racism. We currently have a government of old white men who have used their words and deeds to stoke the fires that are now burning. Trump has no credibility to calm the situation or to offer solace or to promise meaningful change. He has spent many years expressing the anger of racists, repeatedly claiming that President Obama was not born in the U.S., demanding the death penalty for the Central Park Five (who were ultimately found innocent), pretending never to have heard of David Duke when Duke offered his endorsement of Trump, referring to the white nationalists who marched in Charlottesville as “very fine people,” appealing again and again to the gun-toting, violent people who thronged to his rallies and praising them. No need to point out that Trump has stoked the fires that are now burning. We have all seen it with our own eyes. He is like a boy who plays with matches and eventually burns down his own house.

Last night, the Reverend William Barber referred to the protests as an expression of “national mourning.” The protestors are reacting, he said, not only to the death of George Floyd, but to poverty, joblessness, unequal treatment, hunger, injustice—to systematic racism and inequity that has been ignored for too long. For too long, our nation has been on a trajectory that creates billionaires while millions of people of all races, but especially black Americans, are expected to live a life of want and need and hopelessness without complaint.

Last night, the Martin Luther King Jr. Center released the text of a speech that Dr. King gave in 1967 in which he said that “a riot is the language of the unheard.” He said, prophetically, “And as long as America postpones justice, we stand in the position of having these recurrences of violence and riots over and over again. Social justice and progress are the absolute guarantors of riot prevention.”

Franklin Delano Roosevelt laid out an “economic bill of rights” in 1944, which has since been forgotten as a small number of extraordinarily wealthy people rig the system to intensify economic inequality, abetted by willing allies like Mitch McConnell. Even a huge multi-trillion dollar bill to relieve those suffering from the effects of the coronavirus turned out to be a package of goodies for big corporations.

Trump did not create racism, but he has used it and exploited it for his political benefit. He has ignored it, belittled its consequences, and courted the support of racists. He has made plain his contempt for his predecessor, our nation’s first black president. When Obama was elected president, many commentators declared that America was finally a post-racial society. With a man of African descent in the presidency, with a racially integrated Cabinet, with a black man leading the Justice Department, the stain of racism would at last be abolished.

The commentators were wrong. Racism is thriving. It will destroy our nation until we assure equal justice to every citizen, until we guarantee that everyone has the same rights and privileges, until we provide every man, woman, and child with decent health care, housing, education, and a decent standard of living.

We can’t eliminate racism entirely, but we can remove its adherents from the seats of power, we can stigmatize it. We can choose leaders who fight for freedom, justice, and a decent standard of living for all people. Unless we do so, our tattered democracy will not survive. We can’t let that happen. We must be willing and able to pursue genuine change, a social democracy in which every one of us is protected equally by the law and has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

You can share Diane’s important commentary with this link:

https://dianeravitch.net/2020/05/31/america-is-burning/