You do not need us to tell you that systemic racism is entrenched in all our institutions including the Kentucky State Legislature.
But those of us who are white anti-racists in particular, have a responsibility not to play into or reenforce that systemic racism.
In a move that shines a spotlight on racism in politics, Senator Robert Stivers (a legislator who stands for an agenda that is anti Black, anti poor, anti immigrant) bill on no knocks warrants, a weaker law that is supported overwhelmingly by white Republicans, (some white Democrats and a couple of largely white progressive organizations) passed in the Senate and is on its way to the House.
But wait! What about the legislation that Representative Attica Scott introduced, HB21? Why has that not even gotten a reading? Wait! In fact no legislation introduced by Kentucky’s only Black women legislator has gotten a reading . . .
HB21 was pre-filed in AUGUST with 16 (D) co-sponsors (16% of House) introduced on January 5th, the first day of the session and has languished without even being assigned to a committee until late February. Whereas SB2 with nine co-sponsors (23% of Senate) was introduced on February 22nd and got all the way to a vote in ONE WEEK. One was introduced by a Republican white man, the other by a Democratic Black woman.
While some will argue, “well, at least we got something”, this short sighted thinking is a slap in the face of communities most impacted by the murder of Breonna Taylor by Louisville police. It undermines the leadership of Black women in particular, bypassing Breonna’s Law, which was introduced by Representative Attica Scott.
AND... in a really important development, HB21, Representative Scott’s bill, just got assigned to a committee—which is needed to get it heard. And the Kentucky Council of Churches, Hood to the Holler and other statewide organizations are going strong for HB21.
To play into erasing all the work that so many have done to move legislation that could actually have an impact forward——this undermines us all.
If we are to build a progressive Kentucky, we MUST look at HOW we win what we need, as well as WHAT we win. Short sighted political maneuvers are not the road to racial, economic and gender justice that we need.
Here is a view from one of our LSURJ leaders, and faith community friends,
Phil Lloyd- Sidle: "Kentuckians would benefit from Breonna's Law, so why isn't legislature acting?"
Ways to take action for Breonna’s Law
tJoin Hood to the Holler for a Conversation and Action with Representative Attica Scott
WHO: Moderated by Hood to the Holler with featured guest Rep. Attica Scott
WHAT: Twitter Chat discussing Breonna's Law
WHERE: Twitter! Follow Hood to the Holler to see all posted questions, and during the chat follow #JusticeforBreonna to see all of the tweets from participants. Rep. Scott will be participating and interacting with folks.
WHEN: 5:00pm ET on Monday, March 1
SIGN UP LINK (you don't have to sign up to participate, but if you sign up you will receive info about how to participate in a Twitter chat and you will receive a reminder on the day of to join so you don't forget).
Commemorate the Anniversary of Breonna Taylor's Death
Join the Caravan to Frankfort on March 2nd
No human being is free until every single one of us is free is from all forms of oppression. It is the responsibility of white people to find what our own stake is in dismantling white supremacy so that we are acting from a place of shared interest, not from a place of charity or guilt.
Redistributing a portion of the wealth that is owed to communities of color and poor and working-class communities is one way to start. Mutual aid can be a form of reparations with funds being directed to meeting material needs like access to healthcare, shelter, food, or land.
If you have the income or ability and have been less impacted by COVID-19, Louisville Showing Up for Racial Justice (LSURJ) asks you to pledge to donate some or all of your stimulus check to organizations providing mutual aid or emergency funds to people most affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Make your pledge here.
Resources and perspectives from LSURJ members like you.
Header image featuring Squallis Puppeteers.