Breonna Taylor: Say Her Name, Fight for Justice

Supporting LGBTQ Families Requires that Black Lives Matter
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Yesterday, a grand jury indicted only one of the three police officers involved in the shooting death last March of Breonna Taylor, a Black woman in Kentucky—and the charge was “wanton endangerment,” not the more serious ones of manslaughter or reckless homicide. I hope that other White people like myself make it a priority to learn more about this case and about the ongoing need for racial justice in the U.S. Here are a few places to start.

Black Lives Matter

Melanye Price at the New York Times writes in a piece worth reading in full:

Police officers who kill citizens are rarely convicted. But in this tragic situation, in which the woman killed was not only unarmed but asleep in the moments before a police officer took her life, we hoped that for once, justice would be on our side. This is yet another disappointing reminder that it’s not.

These efforts take a cumulative toll. Young African-Americans consuming a regular diet of Black death are learning to not trust their government. It’s painful to realize that kneeling for the national anthem can cost a football player like Colin Kaepernick his career, but a police officer firing a deadly shot into an innocent young woman’s home late at night will face no consequences.

Longtime civil rights activist Rev. Dr. William Barber II spoke with CNN to explain why “every American, of every race, creed, or color should be really, really concerned” that the grand jury decided “to not even have a trial” on a murder charge. And in the wake of two Louisville police officers being shot during protests on Wednesday night, he tweeted:

and added:

Yet while we should denounce all killings, as he says, we should also try to understand the outrage felt by Black people in our country. Regardless of the specifics of this case, it’s wise to remember that the grand jury’s decision here came 65 years to the day after an all-White jury acquitted the murderers of Emmett Till, a Black teen. We should all know Emmett’s story and understand just how long White people in America have been killing Black people with impunity—since 1619, in fact. And White people took indigenous lives long before that. Even though you and I did not personally do such things, we nevertheless benefit from the system of privilege that has enabled such horrors.

That’s not a reason for guilt; it’s a reason for action. We should all learn how to talk about race in ways that can help us to become more anti-racist and help dismantle the systems that keep racism in place. We should continue reading, listening, and educating ourselves and our children about race and the many perspectives of Black people and other people of color, of which the links above are only a very, very small sample. We should continue to Fight for Breonna and work towards racial justice in the communities of which we are part. Those aren’t easy tasks, but they are necessary ones, both for our country and for our humanity.

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