Our Response to the Killing of George Floyd
We stand for equality and equity. We stand for allyship and advocacy. We stand for a world free of violence and abuse.
The killing of George Floyd, handcuffed on the ground with a knee on his neck, along with the numerous other lives taken out of hatred and prejudice, leaves us in despair.
As an agency, we cannot and will not remain silent against the continued injustice and oppression of people of color. We need to call attention to the black and brown lives that are taken because of racism. Not commenting because it is upsetting, because you’d rather pretend it doesn’t exist, or because you think it will go away if you ignore it is not an option.
We have come to realize that a world free of violence and abuse requires that we look at the connection between individual victimization and systematic oppression. We long ago recognized that sexism was a major contributing factor to domestic and sexual violence. We now recognize how other forms of oppression including racism, homophobia, transphobia, ageism and ableism, intersect with victimization.
The death of George Floyd is not an aberration. It is a representation of the truth we are living in.
We’ve adopted a strategic plan at Vera House that includes a focus on the intersectionality of interpersonal violence and oppression. We’ve been doing hard work with our staff to learn and grow. We started by reading the book, “White Fragility,” and have had deep and meaningful small group discussions, learning a lot about ourselves along the way. We encourage others to be proactive as well. Here are some ideas:
- Challenge abusive and hurtful language and actions, whether directed toward an individual or group.
- Teach yourself about both the history and current reality of domestic violence, sexual assault, elder abuse, racism and other forms of oppression. Some resources to consider are:
- “America’s Racial Contract Is Showing” by Adam Serwer, The Atlantic (May 8, 2020)
- “How To Be An Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi
- “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” by Michelle Alexander
- 13th, a documentary available on Netflix
- Use whatever power and privilege you have to engage your circle of influence in this work.
Let’s not ignore the injustice any longer. Let's stand up and do what’s right. Learn more. Act more. Get comfortable being uncomfortable, and help us change the world.