What Constitutes Justice?
For a better future by understanding our past,
Debra Schrishuhn for the PDA National Team
Justice is a Slow and Arduous Process
George Floyd was murdered by a white Minneapolis police officer on May 25, 2020. That officer took over nine minutes to kill Mr. Floyd by slowly, deliberately, and publicly asphyxiating the handcuffed citizen. Make no mistake. George Floyd was a victim of lynching.
Protests over police brutality spread from Minneapolis throughout the U.S. and around the world. Now a jury has found that police officer guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and manslaughter. This conviction is the direct result of progressive Democrats who elected Keith Ellison to Congress, and elevated him to Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and then to leadership in the Democratic National Committee. Now, as Attorney General of Minnesota, Ellison made it clear Minnesota would prosecute murderers who wore a blue uniform.
However, the greater injustice of systemic racism remains intact. Republican legislatures around the country are racing to restrict First Amendment rights of peaceful assembly and resist calls to transform our system of policing, ignoring the overarching problem of racism embedded in our country’s founding core.
We cannot achieve racial justice or economic justice or environmental justice until we deal openly with our country’s racist past that influences present policy decisions in all areas and levels of government.
For these reasons, PDA endorses Rep. Barbara Lee’s reintroduction of legislation to establish the nation’s first-ever U.S. Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (TRHT) Commission (H.Con.Res.19, with 136 cosponsors to date) and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee’s Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act (H.R.40, with 180 cosponsors to date). These resolutions and their companion bills in the Senate (S.Con.Res.6 and S.40, both introduced by Sen. Cory Booker) begin the critically needed process of healing America’s racial divide by providing venues to document and account for past actions and policies that have led us to present-day racial inequities, and seeking ways to redress the harm done by centuries of structural racism.
Going forward, you can help encourage members of Congress to cosponsor these resolutions and other progressive legislation by joining our Congressional Office Liaison team.