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Resolution: Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter
A Resolution on Race Relations

WHEREAS, since last summer, around the nation, the idea that “black lives matter,” has been the subject of intense activism from many Pride at Work members and allied organizations, and;

WHEREAS, issues of systemic racism continue to plague the United States of America, and;

WHEREAS, we see this racism play itself out in myriad ways: in youth unemployment rates among people of color that approach 50%; in the enormous disparity between total wealth in white households versus total wealth in households of African-Americans; in separate and unequal systems of public elementary and secondary education; in enormous racial gulfs in post-secondary educational achievement, and;

WHEREAS, we have seen this racism reveal itself in massive divides in city after city across the nation following the deaths of young African-American men during encounters with police – when deep seated fears within our communities come to the forefront, and;

WHEREAS, we have also seen this racism manifest in the brutal abuse and senseless murder of African-American transgender women on the streets of our cities and towns, and;

WHEREAS, neither the men and women who work in the front lines of law enforcement nor the people who belong to minority communities created the conditions of racial division that persist in our country and divide working people along artificial lines, but all of us are negatively impacted by this division and oppression and have a responsibility to challenge it, and;

WHEREAS although we know that the vast majority of the men and women who work in law enforcement do so out of a sincere effort to serve and protect the community and everyone in it, without regard to race, color or ethnicity, we cannot ignore the widening gap of trust between the people who work in this profession and many in the communities they serve, and;

WHEREAS, too often, our political leaders seek to exploit these fears and expand these divisions – between police and the communities they serve, between whites and people of color, between young and old and and in other ways, and;

WHEREAS, we see this in the push to privatize education primarily in communities with high concentrations of African-Americans, and;

WHEREAS, we see this in attacks on public services being justified by politicians using thinly veiled racial references to stigmatize people who use public services and the workers who provide those services, and;

WHEREAS, we can see this in trade policies that will hurt jobs in our big cities and small towns – many of which are concentrated in communities and industries with large populations of African-Americans, and;

WHEREAS, we have seen in some communities how the total disinvestment in the middle class has left municipal governments with no sources of revenue other than turning their police department into a ticket writing operation targeted at the poor and disproportionately African-American communities, and;

WHEREAS, we can see this through a raft of voter suppression laws being considered or enacted all over the nation with the intention of suppressing the rights of black Americans to vote, and;

WHEREAS, in the labor movement and in the LGBTQ community, we have too often allowed ourselves to be divided along artificial racial lines – divided actively by overt displays of prejudice or divided passively by willful negligence in challenging inequality, divisions that always make us all weaker, and;

WHEREAS, racial inequality has always been a favored tool of those who wish to weaken and divide working people, and;

WHEREAS, confronting and ameliorating the reality of racial prejudice and structural racial inequality is the only means of effectively challenging this problem, and;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that Pride at Work is committed to equality and believes that every life matters, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that as long as powerful elites try to divide us by exploiting and oppressing the African American community, Pride at Work is specifically dedicated to the the principle that “black lives matter,” and;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that, as we assess the impacts of policies within our organization, within the labor movement, with our employers, and within our government that we assess the impacts of those policies specifically on dismantling structural racial inequality in our country, and;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that public services should serve all of our communities and that public services that systematically under-serve or mistreat communities because of racial prejudice must be challenged and changed, and;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the men and women who work in law enforcement want to do a critical job of protecting the public; that they are part of the same attack that public employees in every field face from anti-worker politicians; and that the desire by some to exploit men and women in law enforcement to further racial divisions dishonors the profession and endangers those who work in it, and;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the men and women who work in law enforcement and the communities they serve deserve full, transparent, and impartial investigations into allegations of misconduct, and;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the idea that “black lives matter,” and “black employment matter,” should guide the work of our organization in every aspect.

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