As we continue this journey together, it is critical that we tell a story that African Americans are having a crisis of humanity at every level.
It will not be enough to just protest for the thousands of African Americans who have been murdered by law enforcement in Los Angeles and across the United States. Institutional racism is our story.
For decades, data is telling a story that my people (African Americans) are experiencing a level of death, trauma and disproportionate impact that all of us should be alarmed. It is not acceptable that African Americans are the hardest hit by COVID-19 merely because of a refusal to rectify and reverse centuries of social inequity and disinvestment.
African Americans remain at the bottom of every socio-economic indicator including unemployment, underemployment, housing stability and homelessness.
Indeed, the fact that we are 8% of the population in Los Angeles County and comprise 33% of the homeless population is literally a crime against humanity. Not to mention the disproportionate demographic of African Americans impacted by the school-to-prison pipeline.
The protests around this city, county and country represents the truth of the African American experience. It represents that we can’t protest without bringing in the National Guard. We can’t protest without LAPD using rubber bullets, tear gas and their batons.
Clearly, there is an urgent need to continue to tell the story that we are a forgotten race, aggressively raise awareness around the issue, mobilize African Americans and our allies, invest the appropriate resources in our community, build competencies and supportive infrastructure within African American communities, and facilitate meaningful policy and systems change to eradicate structurally and institutionally racist systems.
To this end, we all have the power to be part of the solution . Have a conversation with a young African American youth to lift up their voice and to share that we see them, we hear them and we love them.
We will be in this fight until institutional racism no longer exists. We will no longer be on the winds of change, we will be the wind !
Charisse Bremond Weaver
President and CEO
The Brotherhood Crusade