The National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence (NTF) shares the grief and rage of all those who are mourning the racist killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Dreasjon Reed and David McAtee and the countless acts of racist violence perpetrated against Black people by individuals and by institutions. As organizations committed to ending sexual and domestic violence, we condemn anti-Black racism and all other forms of racism and oppression such as police violence and murder. We offer our collective support of the uprising to dismantle oppression, and we denounce anti-Black racism. The NTF recognizes the United States was founded on land taken by force through the genocide of Indigenous people and built on the backs of Black people who were enslaved and whose personhood was explicitly denied in our country’s founding documents. Racist violence is part of our heritage and inherent in our institutions.
More than 250 years later, our institutions continue to propagate racist policies. These policies permeate federal, state, and local systems in both the public and private sectors, including law enforcement. Many policies that may appear neutral on their face actually create and maintain inequities in all facets of life, e.g. housing, healthcare, education, and economic opportunity, which constitute multiple intersecting forms of oppression. As is on display nationwide, agents of the state are often also agents of oppression. Private citizens have also been emboldened by the highest levels of leadership in our nation to target Black people, Indigenous people, Latinx people, Asian people, and other people of color.
We support the right and the need of people to protest the weight of this legacy and its modern incarnations, and we reject racist characterizations of people demanding their rights. We acknowledge the trauma inflicted by racism, both individual and systemic, on individuals and communities. As a national anti-violence coalition, we recognize the need to strengthen our commitment to dismantling racist policies and institutions wherever we can. We recognize the need to move the margins to the center. We commit ourselves to interrupting inequitable practices that are rooted in historical injustices and discrimination; eliminating biases and structural barriers to access, opportunities and safety; and to building a movement and a world where all people can thrive and find safety and well-being.
We call on all people in the United States to reject anti-Black racism and oppression. White people in particular have a responsibility to acknowledge the privileges the current system conveys upon them and to disrupt the status quo. This includes people in the domestic and sexual violence movement.
At this time, white people seeking to be anti-racist can reach out to support friends and colleagues of color, highlight the voices of Black advocates and activists; and educate themselves. Talk to friends and family about racism, including implicit bias. Share resources. Engage with elected officials. Call out racism and oppression when you see it. Take action - starting in your own community and in every community in which you participate. Silence is complicity.
For more information, please contact Rachel Graber, NCADV (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Terri Poore, NAESV (email@example.com).