America In The Streets
Fortunately and unfortunately, this is what our democracy looks like. America in the streets.
This is going to be a large post so get a fresh beverage ready and read on. The only story of this moment is commented on by Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Tom Steyer, Vote.org and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. This is what America sounds like when the voices of mature and skilled leadership speaks, These are inspiring as well as guiding light that is such an obvious opposite of Trump fleeing to his bunker tweeting bunk distractions.
For George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor…
George Floyd should still be alive today. His family, friends, and the people of Minneapolis deserve justice. Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery should be alive — and so many more.
The racist violence that killed George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor is not new in America. We’ve seen sickening videos of Black Americans shot at point-blank range; killed during routine traffic stops; choked to death while gasping for air. And we know what’s captured on video represents only a fraction of the violence that Black Americans experience, some of it while in police custody.
On Friday, Donald Trump referred to Black citizens in Minnesota protesting the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police as thugs and called for them to be shot, echoing the words of notorious racists of the past.
Trump is quoting old racists for a simple and ugly reason. This president is a racist, too, and any leader who refuses to swiftly and unequivocally condemn this outrageous statement shares responsibility for its consequences.
Trump threatens American lives and American democracy. We need to vote him and his enablers out. But people are hurting for reasons that go beyond Trump’s statements. It’s systemic racism and white supremacy that forces us to call for justice for George Floyd after he has been killed instead of providing it to him before the unthinkable happens.
As a nation and a society we have some soul searching to do. Racial disparities persist in wealth, education, employment, housing, education, and health care — and at a time when COVID-19 is disproportionately killing Black Americans and Black businesses are going under, it can feel as if this is the way things have been and always will be.
But we are not without hope. The deep injustices we face are not inevitable. They were created and facilitated through racist, hateful, bigoted public policies. That means they can be addressed by different policies — brave, inclusive, moral public policies.
We have to make real change in our country. And it must start in our criminal justice system. In the case of George Floyd, all of those responsible must be held accountable — and the Department of Justice must open a real investigation into unconstitutional policing patterns and practices in the Minneapolis Police Department.
But beyond this case, we must fundamentally reform how the law is enforced in America. We need accountability for law enforcement and accountability at every stage of our criminal justice system. And any decent person who brings integrity and compassion to their work in the criminal justice system should welcome that kind of accountability. In fact, they should demand it.
And we need to do much more to rethink our approach to public safety. That means transitioning away from a punitive system of locking people up and investing in community services that lift people up.
The idea that communities of color alone are responsible for fighting against racism every single day is misguided and can have dangerous consequences. I also want to be thoughtful about the responsibility that I and others have as white Americans in this moment. We need to ask ourselves what we are doing proactively every day to dismantle systemic racism in our communities, our workplaces, and our circles of influence. It’s not enough to stand as an ally. We must go further and be anti-racist.
If you’re in a place to donate, please consider donating to these organizations working to promote racial justice. This is a small first step, but every action we take adds up, and our response to this moment will shape our future.
One in 10 eligible voters in 2020 is part of Generation Z. These are Americans born between 1996 and 2010, many of whom will be voting for the first time this year.
We know from past elections that 10 percent of voters can change the course of history. Young Americans have the power to decide the 2020 election, but only if they turn out to vote.
When a voter uses our tools to register, request a mail ballot, or sign up for election reminders, we follow up with them. We make sure they have everything they need to actually vote in upcoming elections.
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In 2020, we have the potential to help millions of young people turn voting into a habit that lasts a lifetime. During these difficult times, we are as committed as ever to making sure Americans have everything they need to exercise their constitutional right to vote. This is just the start of our work to turn out as many voters as possible, and to help them vote safely.
About half of the visitors to Vote.org are under the age of 35. We’ll be reaching out to millions of young people with the information they need to get registered and vote safely in 2020. We have the infrastructure and experience to do it. Now we just need the financial resources to make sure we can operate at the necessary scale.
If You have a relationship with Vote.org, you might have used our tools to register to vote, to check your status, or to get your absentee ballot.Vote.org is located at 4096 Piedmont Avenue, #368, Oakland, CA 94611.
Bernie Sanders Has A Long Memory Of America In The Streets
Today, across the country, the American people are rising up in outrage against the torture and murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer and the ongoing systemic racism that permeates our society.
We know that the murder of George Floyd is just the latest in a seemingly endless series of police killings that take the lives of African-Americans: Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Laquan McDonald, Tamir Rice, Alton Sterling, Breonna Taylor, Freddie Gray, Rekia Boyd, Walter Scott and so many others that it shocks the mind. When will it end?
The American people are rightly demanding justice and an end to police brutality and murder. And Congress must act. It is my view that:
- Every police officer involved in a killing must be held accountable, and those found guilty must be punished with the full force of the law. That includes officers who stand by while these brutal acts take place.
- Every single killing of a person by police or while in police custody must be investigated by the Department of Justice.
- Police departments must look like the communities they serve and be part of those communities, not be seen as invading, heavily-armed occupying forces.
- Police departments that fail to reform should be stripped of federal financial support.
The federal government has to aggressively lead a complete overhaul of policing in this country.
There are many important organizations working to advance racial justice in this country. Today I would like to ask you to contribute to a few of them, if you can afford it.
Please split a $5 contribution between the Minnesota Freedom Fund, Movement for Black Lives, Poor People’s Campaign, and Center for Popular Democracy. These groups are doing critical work and could use your support.
As we focus on the issue of police violence and killing, we must also fight to end the many other ways violence is visited on marginalized communities.
Black people face economic violence. In the wealthiest nation on earth, when 40 million Americans live in poverty, incredibly, one out of three African-American children live below the poverty line and too many are trapped in a school-to-prison pipeline.
That economic violence goes further. While tens of millions are working hard every day, with little to show for their labor, over half of African-American workers in this country earn less than $15 an hour. Starvation wages are a form of violence and African-Americans and other communities of color bear the brunt of this plague.
Speaking of plagues, the current COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged Black and Brown communities at far higher rates than white communities both in terms of infection and death. This is on top of the fact that Black and Latino people disproportionately bear the violence of a cruel and dysfunctional health care system that results in the death of some 60,000 Americans each year, because they cannot afford the health care they need.
It is the violence of homelessness where, today, in the midst of the pandemic, millions worry about being forced out of their apartments or homes and joining the 500,000 Americans who are already homeless.
Sadly, these are just some examples because this violence can be seen everywhere in the lives of Black people. So, as we watch Americans all over the country taking to the streets to peacefully protest this violence we must keep in mind the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr:
“We who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive.”
And speaking of non-violence, I must say that I am deeply saddened as we witness the destruction of stores in neighborhoods who depend upon these shops for their survival. It is the people in those lower-income communities who will be forced to live without access to groceries and other necessities long after the fires are extinguished and the television crews have packed up and gone home. I want to commend those in the community who have courageously tried to keep that destruction from taking place.
In this enormously difficult moment in American history, now is the time to honor George Floyd, and to do everything possible to make sure that his death was not in vain. Now is the time for us to come together, in a non-violent way, to demand justice in America in all respects. Racial Justice. Economic Justice. Social Justice. Environmental Justice.
This week, I will begin discussions with my colleagues and with people from the grassroots about supporting and crafting legislation that begins to dismantle racism in America and creates the kind of nation we can and must become.
Let us go forward together. Let us peacefully protest and continue our collective struggle for justice.
We NEED to speak out against Trump’s threats. Will you add your name to our massive petition to defend our right to peacefully protest?
We weren’t going to send an email today, but Trump just made an unprecedented and dangerous threat to use military force against protesters. We can’t ignore this, and we hope you can’t either.
FIRST: Trump demanded governors across the country “dominate the streets” against protesters.
THEN: Trump attacked peaceful protesters with tear gas so that he could pose for a photo op with his attorney general.
NOW: Trump is threatening to deploy the U.S. military to, quote, “solve the problem.”
This is absolutely outrageous, and we can’t stay silent. We’re calling on this entire grassroots community to stand united and speak out against Trump’s dangerous threats.
With America in the streets this couldn’t be more important. Will you add your name to our massive petition to defend our right to peacefully protest?
Thanks, and stay safe.
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