Black Lives Matter Letter to Community
Statement in Support of Black Lives Matter
These are the facts:
George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Manuel Ellis, and countless other Black people have been wrongfully murdered by law enforcement across our country. Black people deserve to live without fearing death or harassment at the hands (or knees) of those sworn to defend and protect them.
The United States has systems that are rooted in the oppression of people of color. As a country, we are grappling with the result of hundreds of years of systemic racism, state-sanctioned violence, and economic injustice against people of color, and particularly Black people.
I join the many protesters across this country calling for racial justice in America and an end to police violence. We must listen to the voices of those who feel they are not being heard.
This past week I struggled to find words to express my own thoughts. I was moved to tears as I walked down Langley’s Second Street along the Black Lives Matter chalk memorial. Like many of you I’ve reached out to friends and family to understand how others are feeling and responding.
Island County Sheriff Rick Felici wrote that, “Law enforcement is something done with and for our community, not something we do to them.” I agree with him and believe that is the standard we must hold to.
Also, I call upon Island County to use this moment to step back and take an honest look at our local government’s internal systems and external impacts, to assess how we are serving to advance racial justice across our organization, and in our community. We can do better…we must do better.
Now is a time as a leader to listen with an open mind, to learn and un-learn, to reflect, to seek solutions and take action, because Black Lives Matter.
-Helen Price Johnson