Hon. Dorothy Brown, Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, released the following statement about the murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement.
May 25, 2020, was Memorial Day for the United States, a day on which we remember those who died for this country in foreign wars. But this Memorial Day will forever be known as the day the world came face-to-face with the most heinous form of discrimination that has been perpetuated on United States’ soil. That was the day that we all watched in horror, as a grown man, Mr. George Floyd, begged police officers, sworn to serve and protect, for his life, to no avail.
June 9, 2020, the day of Mr. Floyd’s funeral in his hometown of Houston, Texas, I decided to add my voice to the outcry for CHANGE, to say that yes, there is SYSTEMIC RACISM in the United States, and that ENOUGH IS ENOUGH; BLACK LIVES MATTER just as much as the lives of any other race of people.
The Black Lives Matter movement, which emerged in 2013 in response to the acquittal of the murderer of Trayvon Martin, is now occupying the forefront of public consciousness as, around the world, hundreds of thousands of people peacefully protest, not just police-involved killings of unarmed Black people, but the systematic ways that the formal and informal systems in the United States are set up to consistently keep the Black race down.
Whenever Black people indicated that they were treated unfairly because of their race, in the past, they were accused of playing the race card. Now, it needs to be known that the race card is always in play where a Black person is concerned, because of the color of a Black person’s skin in a society ingrained with the belief that Blacks are inferior. Therefore, we need to all acknowledge that fact and move on from here to ensure that America lives out the true meaning of its creed – “ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL”.
Black Lives Matter is the noblest of causes. It seeks to end the systemic oppression and brutality of Black people. I am encouraged by the inclusiveness of all people, regardless of race, gender, age, religion, political affiliation or sexual-orientation in the recent protests. Even in war-torn Syria, a group wrote in the rubble, BLACK LIVES MATTER.
Finally, the Black Lives Matter movement is meaningful to me because I strongly believe, as expressed by author and spiritual leader Amit Ray: “Organized nonviolent protest and creative positive politics are the two wings of democracy to bring real change and betterment in humanity.” It’s time to work together toward change.
My thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Floyd’s family and everyone who knew and loved him as well as with the legions of brave protesters who continue to seek justice for George Floyd and the Black race as a whole. My thoughts and prayers are also with all of the named and unnamed Black victims of racially-motivated violence, whether they died in the hull of the unsanitary slave ships that brought the forefathers of Blacks to this country, or whether they died at the hands of their slave masters, or were lynched during the Jim Crow era, or, because of being Black, unjustifiably died at the hands of law enforcement or someone else. I TAKE A KNEE IN ALL OF THEIR MEMORIES AND SAY THAT WE MUST WORK TOGETHER TO ENSURE THAT THEY DID NOT DIE IN VAIN.