Remembering George Floyd
As we honor the life and death of George Floyd on this day, we are no more encouraged, hopeful, or expectant of the change that our country might see. George Floyd needlessly had his life taken just two years ago by the senseless act of murder. A public murder by those set in place to protect and serve him. The hurt and sting are no less two years later. We marched, protested, rallied, shouted, cried, and mourned George and all those (too many to name here) that have fallen to the white supremacist and racist structures that continue to hunt humans and aid their destruction.
We are witnesses to violence and death greatest among all first world countries. We feel the effects of fear narratives and the great acts of self-preservation. Despair is what we are left with. Despair is beyond comprehension. Despair sets in the pit of your stomach weighing you down and causing all to be bitter. Despair rejects hope as the pain of hope unrealized is another blow unable to be recovered.
And yet, whether the shooting and murder in churches, homes, schools, or grocery stores, can we admit that we have a problem? It’s an overwhelming problem that seems to be identified through many lenses, but unfortunately not through the casualties. Buffalo is the 198th mass shooting of the year and as we sit in the grief and pain of today with 19 children and 2 adults no longer able to be held, seen, or heard, we are still grappling with the issues.
Violence is rooted in self-preservation and lived out through means of power and control tactics and strategies. At Vera House, we spend 24 hours a day responding to individual and collective acts of violence. We are the designated victims service organization that has a mission to respond and support the safety and healing those most in need. The trauma and pain of families realized in the daily acts of living is often sobered by the next response needed. We can divert the conversation to mental health and access to guns, but we fail to go deeper.
It is the subjugation of one another that breeds the hate and fear that produces one to eliminate another or hope that their fear and pain is seen, felt, and heard. We are failing at human relationship. Simply. Healthy relationship causes one to see, feel and hear another. Healthy relationship causes one to acknowledge another’s humanity. It requires the empathy and resources that are seen as abundant and reciprocal. Not rationed or hoarded. It understands the needs and never withholds the love and support. It comes with mutual accountability to the collective of all humanity.
It means that we make the necessary corrections that recover, uplift, and ultimately prevent further harm, oppression, and violence. It means that we deconstruct and dismantle all that is not serving us. We rebuild and recreate with new minds and thinking. It is the action of making right that which is wrong. Healthy relationship is not built on concealing and the production of fear and insecurity, rather, transparent communication, with stability and security being curated for greatest levels of trust.
We can see the pain. We can feel the hurt. But can we see past all of that to see one another. Not a side, nor political party, nor agenda champions, but merely the faces of our neighbors, family, friends, and community. Without social coherence, the sense of belonging and connectedness, we will continue to self-preserve and therefore, we will continue to see violence. We get to choose what we see and what refuse to see. Seeing is powerful and a requirement for change. Somethings are not meant to be unseen. It is in the unseen that we forget and detach from.
Our hearts are with all of those we have lost. We choose to see.
A Message to Andrew Cuomo
“The Friends of Andrew Cuomo” spent over $300,000 to launch an ad campaign designed to paint former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo as a victim of political attacks because of the sexual harassment claims against him. We cannot allow this gaslighting to continue while the ad revictimizes victims of not only Cuomo’s sexual harassment but ANYONE who has ever experienced abuse. The tactics used by Cuomo and his supporters further represent the barriers that survivors face every day that prevent them from coming forward and getting support.
We at Vera House have asked Andrew Cuomo to take accountability for the harm he has caused on multiple occasions. Instead of admitting to his wrongdoings, he continues to use power and control to suppress and invalidate the truths of the survivors. Today we released a video, produced by Solon Quinn Studios and supported by Survivors’ Network, that sends a powerful message to survivors, "I believe you."
We are asking you to help us amplify the video so that survivors throughout New York and the rest of the world know that we believe and stand with them.
Here’s how to get involved:
1. Share our post on Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter
2. Engage with our content on Instagram and TikTok
3. Share survivor support resources from your organization
4. Tag @verahouseinc
For any questions or to request an interview with a member of Survivors' Network, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org