The staff of NJCASA is profoundly saddened by ongoing and recent police-involved incidences and acts of violence against communities of color, specifically Black men.
Systemic racism is everywhere.
- Judge Persky, the man who tried and sentenced Brock Turner, also oversaw the trial of Raul Ramirez, a 32-year-old Latino man. Unlike Turner, Ramirez was punished with three years in jail for committing the same crime. Racial bias in the courtroom is not uncommon.
- In the United States, Black people are three times more likely to be shot and killed by police compared to white people, and 69% of Black people shot by the police were unarmed and non-violent.
- Dylann Roof, a white man who shot nine individuals at the Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, was somehow taken into custody alive (like many others)…
- Yet Philando Castile was shot four times while reaching for his wallet after getting pulled over for a broken tail light.
This is a time to recognize the importance of anti-racism efforts, specifically the Black Lives Matter movement, and why NJCASA will not support or use the hashtag #AllLivesMatter.
Affirming and visibly valuing Black lives does not mean there is disregard for any other, but rather identifies the insidious systemic racism that breeds fear, violence, and silence. We recognize that all forms of oppression are damaging, and as an organization, we work daily to uproot and end all oppression.
We must acknowledge how all oppressions intersect, especially as advocates in this field. Our work must be intersectional if we are to eliminate rape culture and the oppression on which it thrives. NJCASA will support the Black Lives Matter movement because we do recognize that Black lives matter and are just as worthy of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as any other individual in the United States. We support the Black Lives Matter movement because we refuse to turn a blind eye to the racism that impacts the lives and experiences of Black people daily.
The content of this post was written, collaboratively, by the staff of the New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault. Together, we stand as allies to our fellow advocates working to address and dismantle systemic bias. #BlackLivesMatter