The Green Party from its beginnings has been about social justice as well as environmental issues. We see them as inextricably linked. Pollution and climate change affect not just some of us but all of us. So too, when fairness and equality are denied to our brothers and sisters of color it should aggrieve all of us. As a recent protest poster put it “No one is free when others are oppressed!”
A number of people have drawn analogies between the persistent racism in our country and the current Covid 19 pandemic. Analogies are rarely perfect and we should recognize in this one that the effects of racism are, by definition, targeted at and borne by only some of us. One aspect of the analogy that seems valid though is that treatment of both diseases will require some fundamental and systemic changes, in our government and in our culture. And they will require ongoing vigilance to keep in check. We need a new “normal”.
It’s a tragedy that it has taken so many needless deaths, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Freddie Gray and countless others, to bring this to the level of attention and outrage it deserves. It’s been heartening to see the huge and sustained response in the streets, both here in Nebraska and across the country and around the globe.
Nebraska Greens stand with Black Lives Matters activists everywhere. We advocate non-violence as a fundamental and are glad to see that the protests have been as peaceful as they have. We’re also glad to see that they’ve been disruptive, as that is obviously the point when years go by and nothing changes (or gets worse as in the last 4 years).
Also unlike the Covid-19, the treatment here seems to include reducing social distance, even if not always physically. If you are wondering where to start, the Nebraska ACLU has compiled a pretty good list of supporting organizations led by people of color that you can access here