Statement from Senator Erpenbach on Nationwide Protests: Black Lives Matter
West Point – While many are feeling the pressure of a global pandemic, for many Americans there is another virus that has been running through the veins of our society for centuries – racism. The protests that are taking place throughout our country, and all over the world, reinforce that our society and our leaders need to do much, much better at delivering justice and equity in our communities. No more Black lives should be lost due to hatred and bigotry.
As many of you were, I was sad to witness a woman overtly use her whiteness as a weapon against a Black man, and then I was devastated to learn about the murder of George Floyd. Unfortunately, these were only the most recent tragedies – the lives of Tony Robinson, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Sandra Bland, and many more have also been senselessly taken. Black people are dying in Wisconsin, and all over our country while doing the most mundane things that as white people we often take for granted.
I will not pretend that I do or will be able to understand the experiences of Black Americans. However, as an elected official, I hope to be a part of the solution to put in place structural changes that will prevent injustices from happening again and again. We cannot stand for leaders in Wisconsin or on the federal level calling for violence against those who are asking to be heard.
These individuals are our friends and neighbors, and we must listen to their experiences, acknowledge the hurdles they face and make bold changes to address these systematic inequities and injustices.
It is not our jobs as white people to tell those who are continuously and systematically oppressed how they can or cannot protest. I know the damage and looting that’s been done has not been from those seeking to put a face on the injustices and giving voice to those who are no longer with us. Don’t lose sight of the issues at hand. Don’t lose sight of the changes that need to be made.
Change starts with us. It is time to do the work.
Black Lives Matter.
- City Hall: Council Seeks Police Reform, But Will It Happen? - Jeramey Jannene - Jul 10th, 2020
- Selection of next executive director of the Fire and Police Commission must involve community and must be transparent - Milwaukee Common Council - Jul 10th, 2020
- Tosa PD Protesters Issue List of Demands - Isiah Holmes - Jul 10th, 2020
- City Removing “Defund the Police” Mural Friday - Jeramey Jannene - Jul 9th, 2020
- Activists Ratchet Up Pressure on Tosa PD - Isiah Holmes - Jul 9th, 2020
- Transportation: Why Did Bus Service Shutdown During Protests? - Graham Kilmer - Jul 9th, 2020
- Milwaukee Marches, Day 41 - Urban Milwaukee - Jul 8th, 2020
- Wisconsin Budget: 32 Cities Devote Most Spending to Police - Tamarine Cornelius - Jul 7th, 2020
- Experts Say Legal System Impedes Police Reform - Margo Kirchner - Jul 7th, 2020
- Officer Accused of Assaulting Protester - Corri Hess - Jul 6th, 2020
Read more about George Floyd Protests here
Mentioned in This Press Release
Recent Press Releases by State Sen. Jon Erpenbach
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