Today, as Philando Castile is laid to rest, we send our condolences to his family and loved ones. Today, we are reminded again that violence against our Black brothers and sisters did not end with the lashings they were forced to endure during slavery. They did not end when they were brutalized for sitting at the same lunch counters as their white counterparts during Jim Crow. Nor did they end when the nation proclaimed that everyone would now be treated equally with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Today we are painfully reminded, as the family of Philando lays such a beautiful soul to rest, that the violence has never ended. Being Black is still a crime in our nation. The militarization of police forces all over the country has allowed for the violence against our brothers and sisters to continue to destroy and cause an insurmountable amount of pain to our Black and Brown communities.
We stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter Minneapolis and Black Lives Matter as a movement all across our nation.
We at CTUL understand that these murders of our community members are not a one-off situation but instead a part of a much larger system that thrives off of white supremacy. A system that benefits from the physical violence of our black and brown lives–whether it’s shooting those of us who are Black for playing in the park, driving home with our families, asking for help after a car accident, or selling cds and cigarettes outside of a convenience store –or separating our Latinx families through horrendous immigration policies and forcing us to endure extreme conditions in privatized detention centers that continue to build wealth for those at the top while we are left to clean up the blood left in the streets, the violence against us is perpetuated by the same system.
We are all also impacted by the economic violence that forces Black and Brown people into poverty wage jobs with no access to any real benefits or opportunities to grow and have upward mobility in this great nation, while CEOs profit off our misery with millions of dollars in compensation every year. Add an over represented militarized police presence to our communities and it has been, and will continue to be a recipe for injustice against our Black and Brown communities.
So today, as Philando is laid to rest, we are reminded of the pain that Black communities have been forced to endure. We are encouraged by the strength demonstrated in the face of systemic oppression, and we will continue to organize towards our collective liberation.
Rest in Power Philando Castile. #BlackLivesMatter