Statement from IDW Board – Our Commitment
For 8 minutes and 46 seconds, George Floyd and bystanders around him cried out and pleaded for his life while a white police officer braced his knee on Floyd’s neck, choking the life out of him. Since that tragedy, evidence of the pervasive reality of the senseless killings of black people in multiple states has been broadcast globally. From LaQuan McDonald in Chicago, Trayvon Martin in Florida, Michael Brown in Ferguson, Tamir Rice in Cleveland, Sandra Bland in Texas, Eric Garner in New York, and Breona Taylor in Nashville, the simmering anger and pain across this country has grown into a deafening crescendo that can no longer be ignored. It is past time for every person, corporation, and organization in our society to proclaim loudly by speech and action that Black Lives Matter.
Hashtags and words are only the beginning. With messages of solidarity also comes the duty for education and action. At Illinois Democratic Women, we recognize that we have work to do to educate not only ourselves but our members and our wider Democratic community. We have not done enough in the past to address the racial inequality within our own organization, and for that, we are sorry.
We pledge to do better to create a more equity centric Democratic organization in which Black and Brown women see themselves reflected in the membership.
We are humbled and inspired by the protests across our country demanding that structural racism be dismantled, and a reimagining of public safety budgets to be inclusive of investments in mental health, education and economic development in addition to law enforcement.
We understand that creating true public safety means including the social safety net over singularly prioritizing crime and punishment. It is only then that we can begin to solve the root causes of the civil unrest blazing across our streets.
We understand that #justice is hard-fought, and it is out of our best traditions to honor and stand with the right to protest conditions that must be changed. The inception of our country itself was born of protest. No #CivilRights advancement at any time in our history has ever happened without protest.
In the coming weeks, we will be making announcements about greater outreach efforts to Black Democratic women in Illinois and educational opportunities for our membership to begin to do the work to dismantle #racism in our homes, our communities, and our state.
We are grateful to you, our membership, for the work you do every day to support and elect candidates that will help us make this systemic change. The time is now, and voting is our superpower.
Let’s commit to being the change we all want to see.