Two years ago, I wrote a column about the history and lingering trauma from government sanctioned family separation. The impact of family separation is felt by Black families in a disproportionate way; Black children are consistently over-represented in our foster care system. Approximately one year ago, I wrote an article about the undeniable impact of systemic racism on how our system views Black and Brown families.
It is a stark reality that our country, for years, has created and upheld laws which inflict trauma onto the most vulnerable. All too often, families of color are the most vulnerable, and in particular, Black families.
This past month has been riddled with another harsh reality about racial injustice in this country – the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and most recently, George Floyd.
The country is sitting with the collective pain from each of these deaths, all committed by current or former law enforcement officers. Though, the movement is much larger than a myopic view of those particular officers. Racism is not simply a matter of personal prejudice and hate, it is a multifaceted problem that is prevalent within and across systems. This movement is calling for system wide accountability of law enforcement officers, as well as, a complete restructuring of how police systems are funded.
George Floyd’s murder has catapulted this country, and even other parts of the world, into an uprising. Just as the death of Trayvon Martin sparked an entire movement, George Floyd’s death has garnered support from people and entities that have largely been silent over the last decade. Although this is not a new phenomenon, it seems the egregious nature of George Floyd’s treatment by police, caught on tape, could not be ignored. It seems that the killing of George Floyd has set in motion a path toward real change.
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