» Continuing Coverage: Ahmaud Arbery Death
Here is the letter:
We, newly elected school board members from across Georgia, have been disheartened once again after learning about the senseless killing of Ahmaud Arbery. We find ourselves still asking why unarmed black men die.
We aspire to live in a state where our children and their families know that they matter. We further acknowledge the primary threat to this reality is the multilayered, ever-evolving structure of racial supremacy that led to his death and countless others. We ask others to consider their responsibility in creating a society where we actively uphold the lives of others.
We strongly affirm that racism is the prominent social virus among us in America. It undergirds a host of societal institutions, including public education and healthcare. It has been broadly embedded in the psychology of us all, which in turn, is interwoven into our various governmental and economic systems.
We maintain that it is not acceptable to merely strive for the passive goal of being “not racist.”
Rather, we urge every person in our great state to actively work against racism in all its forms. This active battle against racism is the only way to adequately address its 400-year legacy. Choosing otherwise only maintains some form of this pernicious disease.
We call on every Georgian to reject the idea of a colorblind society. Although well intended, it does not work. On the contrary, it leads to more of a passive ignorance than a proactive empathy. We believe that our differences are beautiful and that we affirm our intrinsic value by embracing them.
We call on every elected official (federal, state, local) to do their part to review discriminatory policies and laws in order to identify ways to be actively against racism.
We call on every voter to challenge their leadership to develop policy that is actively against racism.
We call on other states to do the same since we know racism is not limited to a region of the country, nor a group of people. Racism is a persistent American problem that requires collective and definitive action now.
Everton Blair, Gwinnett County
Jasmine Bowles, Clayton County
Syntel Brown, Griffin-Spalding County
Diijon DaCosta, Dekalb County
Charisse Davis, Cobb County
JacQuez Harris, Twiggs County
Dr. Jaha Howard, Cobb County
Erika Mitchell, Atlanta City
Angela Orange, Marietta City