As a legal aid organization dedicated to removing barriers to justice, we are outraged over the senseless killings of the last several weeks – Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and the persecution of Christian Cooper. Those names call up the most recent public injustices. We are outraged at what in reality goes on each and every week in the U.S. Overt racism is only the tip of the problem. Due to centuries-long systemic racial inequities in our country, we now have racist policies so tightly woven into our society’s infrastructure that time and again, we fail to recognize them. If we do not see the racism inherent in the often covert policies that dictate where people of color live, learn, and conduct business, or that reduce the quality of education and medical care available, and that regularly result in a denial of justice, we will never see change.
As we fight for justice, we have to be willing to be uncomfortable as we ask ourselves what we are doing to perpetuate the racism that exists in our legal structure, and we have to re-commit to examining every aspect of our work for racial inequities.
We cannot afford to be silent. We must acknowledge the horror, disgust, and outrage regarding the events surrounding the death of George Floyd and so many other people of color, as only the first step. Increasing our commitment to work harder to combat racial injustice in our client communities, in Connecticut, and in the United States, must be our next step.