It’s only June and we can already say that 2020 has been a very tough year. We could talk about the state of the economy, the loss of jobs for millions of Americans or the virus that has taken the lives of more than one hundred thousand people in our country alone. But that’s not what we’re here to talk about today. Today, we want to reflect on a problem in our country that goes far beyond the past year. It goes hundreds of years back in our own country, and it has affected far more lives than COVID-19. That problem is the lack of justice and equality based on the color of a person’s skin.
Racism Within Our Institutions
The recent tragedy involving George Floyd has once again opened up dialogue about hidden institutional racism. What exactly is institutional racism?
- Institutional racism occurs when organizations, businesses, or institutions like schools and police departments discriminate, either deliberately or indirectly, against certain groups of people to limit their rights.
It’s time for us to reflect on the racism within the pillars of our society. Racism in America is not only found among individuals, but it can infect our government bodies, businesses, schools and more. The tragedy that caused so many people to voice their frustrations was caused by several law enforcement officers. These officers that we trust to protect us and to have our best interests at heart, regardless of the color of our skin.
Do the actions of the police officers in Minneapolis mean that every officer has a problem with racism? Absolutely not, and we love and support our first responders. We recognize they have a very difficult job and that most seek to protect the lives of everyone in their care, regardless of their skin.
However, we cannot ignore the many cases that have come to light throughout the years of police abuse directed at people of color. Just as the misdeeds of our elected officials reflect poorly on the people who have elected them, the racism and police brutality of individual officers reflects on the police departments that employ them.
It is Time for Action. What Can We Do?
First, it’s time for law enforcement agencies across the country to take a deep look inward at the officers they employ. In so many of these cases, including the George Floyd case, the officers involved in police brutality, and even murder of people of color, had already accumulated a disturbing record before the tragedies that garnered media headlines. We need to hold our governments and civil servants accountable for their actions. If they have demonstrated an inability to show justice equally regardless of skin color, then they cannot represent us or keep us safe in the role of law enforcement officer.
Second, the time for words without action is over. How many times can we be reminded that racism is alive and well in our country to then forget about it when the news cycle moves on? We’ve spent years saying the same things without backing them up with appropriate actions. This is a time where peaceful protests and taking to the street to show how you’re feeling is appropriate. The key word here is peaceful. Don’t let people invalidate your message by twisting the motivation of your protest and your fight for what is right. We understand the frustration you feel but devolving into riots and destruction of the property of uninvolved businesses allows people to ignore your true message. That equality and justice is for ALL men and women regardless of the color of your skin.
Third, translate the frustration and anguish you feel into meaningful political change. If you haven’t already, register to vote and bring your fight for justice and equality to the polling booth. Support candidates in your community that show action instead of words. While protests can and do bring change, political victories can change the course of history as we’ve seen so many times.
Support Nonprofits and Organizations Involved in the Fight
Finally, another great way to bring change to our country is to donate your time and money to organizations that you believe in. Find an organization that supports the same causes as you do. Nonprofits allow us to pool the time and money of millions from across the country and to focus it on one single cause. This is another fantastic way to make lasting change in our country. Do some research and find organizations that are supporting equality, justice and the beauty of our differences. These organizations need you. Here are a few we’d love to direct you to:
- Equal Justice Initiative – committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.
- The King Center – preparing global citizens to create a more just, humane and peaceful world using Dr. King’s nonviolent philosophy and methodology.
- NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund – America’s premier legal organization fighting for racial justice. Through litigation, advocacy, and public education, LDF seeks structural changes to expand democracy, eliminate disparities, and achieve racial justice in a society that fulfills the promise of equality for all Americans.
Brooks Law Group Supports the Rights of All Americans
We join you in solidarity against racism in our society. There is no place for differing treatment to individuals based on any external factors, especially the color of their skin. That’s why we’re joining the fight and making a donation to the Equal Justice Initiative. We strongly believe in their mission and we will continue to fight for all of the members of our communities. We hope you’ll join us!