The world as we know it is shifting and that is a great thing. Though it comes, yet again, through the tragic loss of life of Black people, I believe we are on the precipice of great opportunity—if we take hold of it. Being quarantined away for two and a half months, with entire nations shutdown due to COVID-19, made it impossible not to see and pay attention to the excruciatingly painful murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Abrey all in the midst of a pandemic where the racial disparities in healthcare here in the United States are on full display. America has known that Black Lives have not mattered, but no more.
For the past two months, people across the country have made the conscious decision to face the possibility of death on multiple fronts in order to engage in the work of that has plagued our nation for centuries—dismantling racism. As an African American woman, I recognize that I am more susceptible to falling ill and dying from COVID-19. I also know that being vocal and visible in opposition to the militarization of law enforcement in Colorado Springs makes me a target for violence and murder as well. But, I, along with people across the nation, have chosen to lean into the national work of dismantling racism because there is no life worth living if such systems of violence and oppression continue to choke the lives out of people of color in this nation and across the globe.
READ: Policing Was Never Intended for Law Enforcement
Beyond participating in daily protests, and advocating for local and state legislation, we are working to birth a grassroots movement for a Federal Truth and Conciliation Commission. A Truth Commission investigates, acknowledges and examines the past human rights violations of a government. Through fact finding and evidence based inquiry, root causes and impacts are laid bare for those who have benefitted from and suffered through physical, economic, psychic, cultural and other forms of violence in hopes to redress past and prevent future harms. Such commissions are often paired with Reconciliation. However, there is no possibility for reconciliation in the United States, for to reconcile presupposes a shared moment of covenantal agreement—grounded and rooted in mutual respect, accountability, equity, purpose and goals. We must build a covenant of being through conciliation. We must craft together sacred agreement if there will be any manifestations of racial justice and racial healing in our nation.
There is no question that America is sick. Filled with intractable divisions that are centuries old and never adequately addressed, we continue to live with the impacts of institutional and interpersonal racism everyday. Through direct and indirect violence, prejudicial and discriminatory practices, the insufferable effects of racism cut short the lives, health and well-beings of people in America daily. The Truth and Conciliation Commission seeks to identify, examine and dismantle racism to build a more equitable, inclusive and justice-oriented society. We invite you to think of your role in this growing movement and join us in the coming weeks at www.truthandconciliation.org as we work to dismantle racism once and for all in the United States.