FROM OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
June 12, 2020
On May 25th, the world watched as George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, died with his hands cuffed behind his back and forced into a prone position on a Minneapolis, Minnesota, street, while White police officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes. A Black man was murdered in front of our eyes, live, on tv and social media, by a police officer, as two other officers also used force on his legs and back and a fourth one watched. This horror-filled our eyes, and our minds and our hearts were overwrought with emotions and rage that many White people are unfamiliar with. Because we saw it unfolding right in front of us in real-time, we can never unsee this horror or look at our society in the same way again. The death of Mr. George Floyd sparked outrage among humanity not only in this nation but across the globe.
In 2020, 157 years after the Emancipation Proclamation and 155 years after the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery in the United States, the human condition of the African American citizen of the United States of America has hardly changed. Given that, throughout this country’s history, White people have been responsible for unspeakable atrocities against people of color—genocide, forced migrations, lynchings, burnings and bombings of successful Black towns and industries—what an irony that violent stereotypes attach to people of color and not to White males!
As a White American, I must call out other White people to fully examine our past of social evils. White supremacy was created by White people, and as White people, WE must disable that system. We cannot ask African Americans to do the work for us. If WE created it, then why has it not been eradicated by US before now? How have we come to 2020 and still maintain a society that is moved, swayed, and perpetrated by racism? The status quo of our society is racism, and it's comfortable for White people. And so, we're not going to get to a place of change from a place of White comfort. We're going to have to get mighty uncomfortable and inconvenienced to be open to why and how we change 400 years of self-imposed superiority. How long does society allow, through carelessness and moral cowardice, any social evil to grow? White people must do the work and be thankful that Black Americans are only asking for change, and not revenge.
At AIDS Alabama South, we are listening, watching, and asking how we can be constructive support to our Black brothers and sisters in the movement to end violence, brutality, racism, and social inequities at the hands of police officers and vigilantes across our country and in our own communities. But that is not enough, we must do more! WE must do the hard work. Yes, I am referring to we, the White people. We must look within our agencies, our organizations, businesses, our government, and ask, “Is what we do equitable?” Are we promoting and investing in our staff equally across the race lines? Are we buying from Black businesses and using Black-owned banks? Are we standing with our Black friends and neighbors who are suffering at the hands of another racist? We must let our stand be known and we must be that voice and that light that shines for humanity – all of humanity!
We encourage you to search your heart, your soul, and your mind to identify ways you can stand with Black lives in your school, your church or place of worship, your business, your organization, and your circle of friends! WE CAN BE THAT BEACON ON THE HILL FOR ALL AMERICANS! We must be! This is the United States of America; it must be our stand across the world! We fight wars for the freedom of other people in other nations of other races and religions. We MUST fight for the freedom of our own Black brothers and sisters who are AMERICANS! They are who We are!!! One Nation!
At AIDS Alabama South, WE stand with Black Brothers, Black Sisters, Black Men, Black Women, Black Lesbians, Black Same Gender Loving Men, Black Trans, Black Bi-Sexuals, and Black Queens! WE STAND WITH ALL BLACK LIVES!
Black Lives Matter!
AIDS Alabama South Team