We are living in a historic time – what seems to be a much needed, well overdue, present day Civil Rights Movement. This movement is prompted by not just the recent murder of George Floyd, but the fact that the murder of unarmed Black people as consequence for some small or innocent act has become a far too common occurrence. As a diverse group of passionate advocates who tirelessly and fearlessly fight for justice and against discrimination in the workplace, we know that racism is prevalent, but it is not new, it is just newly publicized in widespread media. What we are seeing is a very public manifestation of American history, and America’s present. The ugly truth is that Black people (men, women and children) are victims to racialized violence at the hands of police officers and citizens alike in alarming numbers.
Amidst a health pandemic that has taken over 100,000 lives and an economic crisis, people from all walks of life have gathered, protested and demanded change, in cities large and small, in every state in the United States. We stand with the people. As one united voice we must continue to passionately state that we will no longer accept the status quo, because the lives of Black people do matter. This can be our only truth if we believe that all lives matter.
In coming days, we must continue to press forward with persistence and unwavering passion, fighting for systemic reforms. We must not allow the narrative to change. Together, the people of America are peacefully protesting, exercising our constitutional right to gather and to speak and we are opening the ears of mother justice, tugging at her heart strings and convincing her to act on behalf of the masses. Together we are saying that George Floyd’s life mattered, Trayvon Martin’s life mattered, Oscar Grant’s life mattered, all the lives of young black men, women and children, who have died at the hands of systemic and individual racism matter, and the lives of their families who are left to endure the traumatic loss matter.
The unfortunate reality is that this issue did not begin with George Floyd. As we recall the acquittal of young Trayvon Martin’s murderer and the light 2-year sentence issued to Oscar Grant’s murderer, we are reminded that it is vitally important that we continue to insist that all those involved in the murder of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and many others are charged AND convicted. To stop the racialized violence, our justice system must begin to ensure that any person who murders or commits a violent act against another, will be criminally charged AND convicted, no matter the victim’s race. We can no longer afford to stand idly or patiently awaiting change. We must continue to demand justice.
At Saenz & Anderson, we are committed to fighting against racism and all forms of institutional discrimination. Today we fight for a better tomorrow, so that – just maybe – the dreams of so many that fought and died for equality may be realized.