YWCA Madison is devastated by the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police officers, as well as the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony Robinson, Tony McDade, and countless other Black Americans. Unfortunately, we are no longer surprised. Police brutality and institutional racism are baked into the policing and criminal justice systems of America. This is not just our history, this is our present day. And until we intentionally dismantle systematic oppression, this will be our future.
We cannot have the same conversation and think that it is going to make anything different. Body cameras, diversity training, and citizen review committees will not lead to institutional change. YWCA Madison does not accept these distractions, and we will not participate in conversations that refuse to address the root causes of structural racism in America.
We are seeking substantive, intentional, revolutionary change. This is the only way to dismantle America’s racist policing, judicial, and criminal justice systems. But we also need to dismantle our housing, education, and financial systems too, which for centuries have established and fueled the racial divide of America, laying the groundwork for police brutality and the murder of Black bodies. The white community and white leaders need to take responsibility for our racist institutions and affirmatively work to dismantle the systems they have created.
Thank you to the daily protestors, taking to the streets to demand radical change and justice. We stand with you. We especially honor the young black organizers whose leadership shows us what the future can be.
YWCA Madison has been fighting for racial justice and equity for more than a century. We encourage you to read our policy platform at https://www.ywcamadison.