I can see the protestors gathering outside of City Hall from my office window in Little Rock. They assemble to protest the senseless killing of George Floyd by a police officer, and of so many others before him. They assemble in a collective cry: NOT ONE MORE.
Disability Rights Arkansas stands in unequivocal solidarity with the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless other Black men and women killed by police officers.
We are at our core a civil rights organization. It’s right there in our vision statement: “We want our state to be one in which the rights of all people are respected. All people have the right to be equal members of their communities, and to live with self-determination.” And yet, this moment calls us to account. It calls us to acknowledge the intersectionality of race and disability that places Black men and women at exponentially greater risk of incarceration and violence in Arkansas and across the nation. It calls us to examine our own work, to directly address the harm done by our systems and institutions. It calls us to do more.
We cannot be the state we envision until people of color are safe in our communities, until our systems and institutions no longer perpetuate, protect, or support white supremacy and racism.
We renew our commitment to fight for equality, civil rights, and justice. We grieve with our Black colleagues, friends and neighbors. And to them I promise: We stand with you.
Until all of us are free, none of us is free.