Time and time again, we have seen black and brown people brutalized and killed in entirely avoidable circumstances by those sworn to protect our communities. It is no wonder, given the repetition of these atrocities with seemingly no progress or change, that people are in pain. It is the responsibility of those with privilege and power to demand accountability and change.
It was just this year here in Michigan when armed protestors stormed the Statehouse in the middle of a pandemic. These individuals carried weapons as a means of intimidation, and many ignored public health recommendations. They were not met with riot gear or snipers. Those measures were reserved for the peaceful protesters we saw demonstrating on behalf of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others this past weekend. The disparity in the ways we address the actions of white people in contrast with the actions of people of color demonstrates how white privilege serves to protect some at the expense of others.
As someone who holds that privilege, I will not be complicit by being silent. We must do better.
The racism we see in our system is structural, and must be addressed as such. That means changing the laws, policies, and practices that prop up injustice and corruption in our criminal justice system. Measures will vary from changing our approach to policing by requiring implicit bias training for law enforcement to identify and unlearn unconscious biases that perpetuate injustice to supporting programs that disproportionately impact people of color. We must change policies so including our community’s voice in the justice system by forming a civilian review board to address police misconduct complaints is required, not optional.
Racial equity is a complex and wide-reaching goal with many different facets, including the need for comprehensive immigration reform, and my detailed platform can be read here. I understand that this platform is incomplete, and we look forward to continuing the dialogue about how to best address our country’s historical oppression of people of color.
Achieving racial equity won’t happen overnight, but the status quo is unacceptable. We must commit ourselves to the work of creating a just society on a daily basis, not simply when it’s convenient or popular. I will continue to listen to and stand with communities of color. I invite additional policy ideas as this platform continues to improve. I am calling on others to truly examine how they can contribute to a fairer world for all of us.