June 15, 2020
We are deeply disturbed and angered by the tragic death of George Floyd, the senseless killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Emmett Till, Martin Luther King Jr., and so many others at the hands of law enforcement and racist vigilantes.
George Floyd’s death was not a result of a bad apple, but a predictable consequence of a prejudiced system. From slavery to Jim Crow and segregation, Black and Brown people have suffered immeasurably from institutionalized racism. Today, the 1% continue to fuel divisions in order to create the cover they need to rig the rules and take the wealth working people create. The greedy politicians they purchase ignore our pleas for justice, while handing billions to corporations to militarize local law enforcement and deny resources to the schools and healthcare we actually need.
Our members stand in solidarity with protestors across the country and around the world. We remember that the labor movement grew out of protests for social and economic justice on the job and in the streets, and those protests were not always widely supported. We are proud of our history and mission of striving for a more just and human society for everyone, regardless of the color of their skin. But we also know that despite our efforts, a cycle of multi-generational poverty and violence toward People of Color continues.
SEIU 200United is committed to ending injustice, racism, and hatred. We commit to healing inter-generational trauma, and affirming Black life by fighting for the mental, physical, and spiritual health of Black communities. To begin this work, it is essential to listen to the stories of people we care about in order to understand the deep racism they face every day. We will continuously reflect on how we can better support the struggle for racial justice. And with humility and readiness to learn, we commit to the long-term effort of transforming our Union and our society, because justice will not be achieved with any single action or statement.
Union leaders, activists, and members know there can be no economic justice without racial justice. We know a better future is possible. By pulling together, Black and white, Latino and Asian, First Nations and newcomers, we can make this a place where all of us have our rights respected. The path we are on is a journey, and we can never stop until we achieve justice.