Updated: Feb 10
Message from the President
Dear Valued Partners,
The words, “I can’t breathe” continue to reverberate across this nation. Since the dreadful killing of George Floyd, by a poker-faced policeman, there have been two more killings! In Austin, TX, Javier Ambler used his last breath to utter the phrase “I can’t breathe.” Manuel Ellis, in Tacoma, Washington, cried out “I can’t breathe.” Both of these black men died at the hands of despicable police. As a mother of a black male, I hold my breath everyday praying that he will always have air in his lungs to breathe another day. That he will not be pulled to the side of the road because of mistaken identity, or the color of his skin, or the way he is dressed, or “just because.”
As we paid homage to George Floyd and the other families whose loved ones died as the result of police brutality, my heart was full. I think about Chauvin’s knee on George Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 59 seconds. I think about the pain and suffering George felt as he inhaled his last breath. When the body is deprived of oxygen for three minutes, neurons suffer extensive damage in the body, and lasting brain damage becomes more likely. At five minutes, death becomes imminent. I can only hold my breath for twenty-nine seconds, and I’m ready to pass out. This was another example of inhumane police brutality! This behavior has to end, or we will see endless violence erupting all over the world. 99% of killings by police from 2013 – 2019 have NOT resulted in officers being charged with a crime. It’s time for justice! I support the non-violent protesters who exhibit courage and continue to raise awareness for police reform. They are making a sacrifice in this era of COVID19 so that we may all live in peace.
Let’s remember the words of Martin Luther King, “We who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive.”
We are the change agents and we can express that in multiple ways. If you can’t protest, then express yourself at the voting booth! Your voice can be heard at the local, state, federal, and national levels. If you believe in hope like I do, please VOTE! Let’s hold those who in power accountable. We are in an era of crisis. Black Lives Matter Global Network (www.blacklivesmatter.com) and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (www.naacpldf.org) have been at the forefront of the fight against systemic racism, leading the charge in support of civil and human rights. LDF was founded in1940 through the guidance of Thurgood Marshall and continues to endeavor on the battlefield for our rights from coast to coast. BLM recommits every day to healing each other, and co-creating alongside comrades, allies, and family to create a culture where each person feels seen, hear, and supported. Your support is needed, so they can continue to do the work that is necessary to make tidal waves of changes throughout the world.
“Oppressed people cannot remain repressed forever. The yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Let us collectively be the change we want to see in the world!
President & CEO