GCCLP Statement on the Uprisings for Black Lives
The seas are rising... And so Are we! #BlackLivesMatter
We join the world in another week of mourning, outrage and solidarity in seeking justice for the police murders of George Floyd, the many others not caught on video, and the murders in southern states of Kentucky (Breonna Taylor), Florida (Tony McDade), Georgia (Yassin Mohomad and Ahmaud Arbery) and Louisiana (Modesto Reyes and the 14-year-old unarmed Black boy shot in the head by an off-duty police officer). The Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy understands that there is no climate justice without racial justice. To win true change, we must all declare that #BlackLivesMatter and embody an understanding of the aboriginal proverb that states: If you have come to help me, then you are wasting your time. But if you have come, because you understand that your liberation is tied with mine, then let us work together. These recent killings are not isolated incidents, nor are they the product of a single bad actor. They are continued and cumulative consequences of supremacy-based leadership, intersecting oppressive systems and a fear-soaked citizenry that has been silent about the targeted killings of Black people for far too long. The silence is breaking. The seas are rising. Remember & Reflect. The time for change is now. But first, honor the moment with reflection and remembrance of what has occurred on our watch. Take the time to remember these recent sacrifices in your prayers and meditation. As you remember the names of those murdered, offer a prayer for those whose names we will never know. Who have we allowed to die and why? How much longer will we allow Black people to be sacrificed? What is the price of atonement? Take the time to reflect on just what type of distortion of democracy our country has become. Reflect on who we, as a nation, could be to the world and to your children if we implement change now. We must reflect before we act. Connect the Dots. Then, intersect the lines. The resistance in the streets today is in reaction to a centuries old system of intersecting injustices designed to value white lives and profits over everything and everyone else. Moments of crisis - whether political uprising in Minneapolis or climate disasters like Hurricane Katrina - affirm that our systems value property and profit over Black lives. The same system that led to the kidnapping and generational enslavement of Africans and Native Americans fuels our current reality where Black people in the US are more likely than white people to be killed by the police, die of Covid-19, and are disproportionately impacted by climate change. These struggles are connected. Therefore, our solutions responding to unaccountable law enforcement, to the privatized access to health care and to the disproportionate climate impacts on the justice frontlines must also be connected. We must purposefully intersect our struggles and our humanity. Follow Black Leadership. Because your liberation is tied with mine, the final step is to move together on this journey of shared liberation. But, we must move in an equity formation. Restrain any self-righteousness in exchange for understanding the true honor of service. There is no more room for oppression on this side of the line. You must follow Black people. You must follow the Southern Frontlines. You must follow the Global South. Follow our young, Black, energetic, unapologetic, queer, loud, beautiful, quiet, deaf, differently-abled, artists, rappers, poets, students- those are our leaders. We ask that you love, support and protect them as we move together. Your sacred oath for this journey will be to every day of your life, work to dismantle oppression in all of its forms- foreign and domestic. The seas are rising… And so are we! Here is how you can support strategic movements for transformation:
Support the Movement for Black Lives( (M4BL). M4BL is a national formation of Black-led organizations co-creating movement-wide strategy.
#InvestGND Juneteenth Action. On June 19th, show you stand with communities creating a Gulf South Green New Deal to center equity and justice for workers and the frontlines as we address the climate crisis. Take a selfie in a precious place holding a sign that says “The Seas are Rising… And so are We!” Be sure to include #GulfSouth4GND and #InvestGND in your sign and post. Follow and tag us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (@GCCLP).
Join the #GulfSouth4GND Network. #GulfSouth4GND is a regional formation of both policy development and organizing that advances long-existing work in our region towards climate, racial, and economic justice. This network is for any person or group located in the five gulf south states (TX, LA, MS, AL, FL). SIGN ON to GS4GND Policy Platform.
Support the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy. GCCLP is a public interest law firm and justice center working with Gulf South communities of color on the frontlines of climate change.