Letter Campaign Writer Addresses Senior Government Leaders

  • Posted on: 5 November 2020
  • By: Elizabeth Arco

We are highlighting powerful letters written through the Letter Writing Campaign to End Violence Against Black People which ended on November 3rd. Look for a final tally of letters sent to come soon! Thank you to all who participated!

 

Dear Senior Government Leaders,

It’s a hell of a thing to get old.  The world seems to be changing at warp speed and our appliances, devices and habits are suddenly and irrevocably discontinued, obsolete and outdated.  Our passions gradually get dampened as our faculties and energy levels flag. It takes humility to realize we need more and more help.  Out of necessity we learn to pace ourselves and put energy into fewer and only the most important things:  family and our bucket lists to name two.

We went to school in the 60’s and are dismayed that suddenly, we are finding there are gaps in multi-cultural history we have only vaguely noticed before.  Now we are expected to “unpack” and unlearn ideas and beliefs we were never even conscious of having.  Thinking I know the “right way” to do things turns out to be white supremacist.  Oh dear.

But don’t despair!  The good news is we can move to the back seat.  Let the young drive.  They are capable, willing and chomping at the bit for us to get out of the way!  Our driving terrifies them, and we aren't even aware of our mistakes.  We as those with the most lived experience still have a role to play:  supporting and championing the new leaders.  Here are ideas from our young Black leaders for example:

  1. Remove all harmful punitive policies, practices and people from school environments, including police, suspension, and expulsion.
  2. We want public institutions to engage in 360 degree accountability through abolitionist restorative justice.
  3. Support and fund a Black-lead committee with decision-making and implementation power to remedy the deep patterns of harm caused by racist violence in all its forms.
  4. Using recommendations of said committee invest in a campaign to decriminalize and humanize Black people.
  5. Provide reparations to said committee to create educational initiatives for the Black community.
  6. Provide reparations for Black land trusts and other remedies for gentrification and hyper-segregation.
  7. Create a truth and reconciliation process to replace the punitive criminal justice system with abolitionist restorative justice.
  8. Adopt the demands developed by the Movement for Black Lives.

Government leaders, ask yourself: Is it time to move to the back and let the youth drive? Trust, and enjoy the scenery? It’s a humbling and sometimes daunting process- this getting old. Our very worldview may in fact, be obsolete.

Sincerely,

E.M.