#JusticeForGeorgeFloyd: Taking Action and Shabbat Reflections:
Zioness is outraged and devastated by the senseless and brutal murder of George Floyd, a Black man, at the hands of a white Minneapolis Police Officer. As we’ve watched across the Twin Cities, it is clear that the entire city is experiencing unfathomable pain and trauma.
Our hearts break for our neighbors, colleagues, friends, and allies in the Black community across this country. We see you and are committed to standing and acting in solidarity for your right to thrive without fear. We join in the resounding demand for justice for George Floyd and his family. The officer directly responsible for Mr. Floyd’s death has been arrested, but charges must be brought. Full justice must be pursued. Immediately.
But justice will not be served when charges are filed, or even when the individuals responsible for George Floyd’s murder are sentenced to the full extent of the law. Justice requires every single one of us to stand up today and every day to raise our voices for those whose voices were taken away, to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves: George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Pamela Turner, and so many more names, faces, lives, and families devastated by the toxic racism and deeply ingrained white supremacy that permeates our society. We must do more, though, than raise our voices. And, we must do more than seek to heal our racial divides. We must confront, defeat, and dismantle white supremacy in America.
Justice will not be served until our Black siblings can live freely and equally in America; can go to work and school and the bodega and for a jog without risking their lives; can drive down the street; can allow their children to leave the house without paralyzing fear that they will not return. Police brutality against our Black neighbors is but one symptom of the systemic, institutionalized racism that has persisted despite decades of hard work, lives lost, and historic civil rights cultivated by leaders.
Zioness leaders in the Twin Cities and nationally are committed to the necessary self-work to unlearn racism and dismantle centuries-long systems of oppression. In this, we are committed to centering the voices and needs of Black people, including Jews of Color, and to working in partnership with Black-led organizations, with our own Jewish community, and with other allies. Zioness members come from a Jewish tradition that demands that we refuse to stand idly by as our neighbors bleed. For our Twin Cities activists, George Floyd was their neighbor.
Our nation, our city and our Zioness Movement have our work cut out for us as we stand in solidarity and take action toward dismantling the systems of oppression that threaten the lives of Black people in America every day. We call on all members of our community to take specific action to combat white supremacy. In the coming weeks, Zioness leaders will be in conversation with allies and partners in the Black community. We will follow their lead and will organize inside and outside our community to leverage our individual and collective power and privilege to help bring progress.
As Shabbat arrives after this dark week, we wish our members moments of peace and of power. Here are some actions you can take this weekend to bring more justice and healing into our deeply broken world:
1. Sign this petition demanding that the officers who killed George Floyd are charged with murder: https://act.colorofchange.org/…/justiceforfloyd_george_flo…/
2. Put pressure on District Attorney Mike Freeman to charge and arrest the officers responsible by calling 612-348-5550.
3. Read this article, fill out the checklist and discuss it at your Shabbat table tonight: https://collectiveliberation.org/…/01/Kivel_White_Benefits.…
4. Google whether or not your local police department requires officers to wear and turn on body cameras at all times when they are responding to calls. If not, contact your police chief and municipal representatives and ask them to make this practice standard.
5. Raise your voice on social media using #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd.
Find more places to donate to, resources to learn from, and actions to take towards racial justice in this article: https://medium.com/…/what-white-people-can-do-for-racial-ju…