Gov. Evers: We Must Confront Society’s Comfort with Racism
MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today released a video statement following the death of George Floyd and the ongoing unrest, urging Wisconsinites to offer their compassion, support, and action to the Black community. This includes calling on the Legislature to pass Assembly Bill 1012, relating to use of force practices.
The video message is available here.
Over the past few days, we have been grieving as another Black life was extinguished before our eyes. His name was George Floyd. He was 46. His life matters. His family deserves justice. And he should still be alive today.
But his death was not an anomaly. We hear the echo of the words of Eric Garner. We relive the pain of the death of Black Wisconsinites like Dontre Hamilton, Sylville Smith, Ernest Lacy, and Tony Robinson. We listen to the call and repeat, answered by generations of Black voices who’ve marched before in these very same streets.
George Floyd’s death—and the lives taken before him—are symptomatic of the disease we’ve failed to adequately treat for four centuries. Racism has never really gone away—it has only manifested itself in different ways, from incarceration rates to health outcome disparities, the wage gap to education inequity, and in good intentions.
These past few days, millions have gathered to memorialize George Floyd, to demand change and accountability, and to call on this country to keep its promise of justice, fairness, and equity.
We can start with accountability for unacceptable use of force by certain law enforcement officers in our country and our state. So, I am calling on the Legislature to immediately pass Assembly Bill 1012 that would reform our use of force policies by prioritizing preserving life and minimizing the use of force and send it to my desk for signature.
I am also calling for local government leaders to join us in demanding change, and I am asking for partners to step up in every corner of this state and put in the work that needs to be done.
This legislation is an important first step, but we know the solution to racism isn’t in one bill or one person. I know I don’t have all the answers–no one does. This is on all of us, together.
We need systemic change to address the racism in our state and our country. We must be willing to face it, with clear eyes and open hearts, recognizing that folks who look like me have been part of creating, exacerbating, and benefiting from the systems that we must now turn to dismantle.
We must confront society’s comfort with racism. We must reestablish trust with communities of color. We must be willing to listen, we must be willing to be uncomfortable, we must be willing to do the work.
We must lay bare the notion that this is not who we are. It is who we have been. It is who we are. But it is not who we have to be tomorrow.
I have seen hope in those who’ve joined this cause in support, who’ve lent a hand to a neighbor, who’ve showed up with brooms and dustbins in hand to help clean up our neighborhoods. We must use this dark moment to begin to be an example for the rest of the nation. Wisconsin will lead, we will listen, and we are going to put in the work.
Please be kind to each other, support each other, and keep each other safe tonight and in the days ahead. We have work to do tomorrow, together.
- Op Ed: Chauvin Verdict Offers Glimmer of Hope - Angela Lang and Milwaukee BLOC Team - Apr 25th, 2021
- Protesters Rally After Chauvin Verdict - Graham Kilmer - Apr 21st, 2021
- Supervisor Taylor Statement on Derek Chauvin Guilty Verdict - Sup. Sequanna Taylor - Apr 21st, 2021
- Accountability should not be such a rare commodity - Ald. Milele Coggs - Apr 21st, 2021
- Statement on the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial - Ald. Chantia Lewis - Apr 20th, 2021
- Statement from Milwaukee Police Department on Derek Chauvin Verdict - Milwaukee Police Department - Apr 20th, 2021
- Live Stream From Justice 4 George Floyd Rally - Urban Milwaukee - Apr 20th, 2021
- Gov. Evers Releases Statement on Verdict in Chauvin Trial - Gov. Tony Evers - Apr 20th, 2021
- County Executive David Crowley Statement on Derek Chauvin Trial Verdict - County Executive David Crowley - Apr 20th, 2021
- Sheriff Earnell R. Lucas Statement on the Verdicts in the Chauvin Trial - Earnell Lucas - Apr 20th, 2021
Read more about 2020 Racial Justice Protests here
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