Last night, a group of white supremacists shot five Black people at a Black Lives Matter action in Minneapolis.
Black Lives Matter protesters have been holding rallies outside of a police precinct to call for police accountability after two of the city's police officers shot and killed an unarmed black man, Jamar Clark.1
As we write this, the police report that they’ve arrested two suspects in last night’s shooting.
It’s not a surprise that a group of white terrorists would attack a peaceful demonstration. Elected officials and candidates have been stoking the flames of hatred and racism. After attendees at a Trump rally punched, kicked and choked a Black man, Trump said “maybe he should have been roughed up.2” This kind of inflammatory, anti-black rhetoric provides inspiration and encouragement to violent white supremacists.
As white people, we have a responsibility to change the narrative of white supremacy by breaking white silence.
After a similar attack on peaceful protestors 30 years ago, Anne Braden, a long-time white racial justice organizer, said
“The men who pulled the triggers that killed five people here on the streets of Greensboro are dangerous men who must be brought to justice. But they are not the cause of our problem, they are the result.
The real danger today comes from people in high places, from the halls of Congress to the boardrooms of our big corporations, who tell white people that if their paychecks are eaten up by taxes it’s not because of our bloated military budget but because of government programs that benefit black people. If young whites are unemployed, it’s because blacks are getting all the jobs. Our problem is the people in power who are creating a scapegoat mentality. That is what is creating the danger of a fascist movement in America.”
White people need to be stepping boldly into public action against racism and white supremacy, so in the coming weeks we will be asking you to join us as we commit ourselves to increasingly bold actions for racial justice.
Dara, Carla, Meta, JLove and all of us at SURJ
PS: Are you anticipating difficult conversations about race with family over the holiday meals? Check out our SURJ placemat for talking about race with loved ones.
- “Jamar Clark protesters vow to continue despite shooting near demonstration,” The Guardian, November 24, 2015 http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/nov/24/people-shot-near-protest-site-fatal-police-killing-jamar-clark
- “The Man Beaten And Choked At A Donald Trump Rally Tells His Story,” Think Progress, November 23, 2015 http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2015/11/23/3725051/trump-protester-beaten/