ADL South Central Statement on the Killing of George Floyd

Dear Friends

We find ourselves in a moment where the pain, the outrage, the sadness are pouring out. A moment triggered by the horrific death of George Floyd, the horrific death or Ahmaud Arbery, the horrific death of Breonna Taylor, and many others…where the connector between them was the color of their skin, and the failure of our systems to protect them. The simple truth is that these deaths are not isolated, but all too familiar a loss in our communities of color, our friends, our families, our neighbors. Nobody should lose their life because of the color of their skin, yet this is a reality that we are confronted with again and again. When will enough be enough?

As an organization that believes that nobody is truly safe until all vulnerable communities are safe, we have a duty to look internally and reflectively. We must examine our own biases as we ask ourselves how we can stand up to injustice. Not just today, not just tomorrow, but for as long as is necessary to create justice and fair treatment for all.

As ADL South Central, we are diverse and we are inclusive. We are made stronger by the perspectives you each bring to our organization and mission. This diversity means that some of you feel the pain and frustration in personal ways that others of us cannot. We can, however, listen to one another, and learn from each other. We are committed to standing up as allies, arm in arm, with communities of color to support the critical work of addressing systemic racism. We are committed to working with law enforcement to address and stop police brutality and racist practices. We will also uplift and promote law enforcement practices that strengthen and protect vulnerable communities, as NOPD has done throughout the recent days of protest. We hold sacred our mission and renew our dedication to combatting hate and bigotry in any form we encounter it…racism, xenophobia, antisemitism, and others, and we will do so with every tool in our toolbox.

We will listen to those who speak from experience, we will support and stand with communities impacted by hate and tragedy, and we will call out those who seek to divide people through hate.

As leaders in our community, as leaders committed to our mission, we mourn and we reflect. We understand that the pain we see and feel today is four hundred years in the making. That undoing the systems of oppression and structural racism will not occur overnight. That the overwhelming sadness of senseless loss is not something we simply get over. As we work to help in the societal healing, tomorrow we will stand anew, we will pick up the torch of liberty and freedom, and we will continue moving forward to build a more just and inclusive society.

Thank you all for your voices, your passion, and your work.

Aaron Ahlquist
Regional Director

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