Letter Campaign Writer Sends Powerful Letter to County Supervisors

  • Posted on: 16 October 2020
  • By: Elizabeth Arco

We are highlighting powerful letters written through the Letter Campaign to End Violence Against Black People. Please join us in writing letters for the campaign. Information and writing session are held on Thursdays from 7:00 - 8:30pm on Zoom. You can RSVP here for the Zoom invitation

Our goal is to send 2,000 letters to elected officials, government agencies, schools, nonprofits, local businesses, community organizations, and more, by November 3rd, 2020. So far, we have nearly 1,500 letters.

July 24, 2020

To: county_board_recipients@countyofdane.com

Subject: End Violence Against Black People

Dear Dane County Supervisors:  

My husband and I will be welcoming our first child this fall. And while the usual anxieties and worries are ever-present, I cannot help but reflect upon what we, as white parents, don’t have to worry about. I think about Black parents who have had to see their children’s lives taken at the hands of police. I think of Black fathers who don’t get to see their children due to policies and practices that disproportionately incarcerate Black men. I think of Black children who are taught to be hyper-vigilant about everything from where they put their hands when confronted by law enforcement to what they wear and how to speak—not as a lesson in manners but as a matter of survival. And I think of Black mothers who have to fear for their lives and the lives of their babies, with statistically higher rates of maternal and infant mortality.

And while we as a nation and a world bear witness to explicit acts of violence and murder perpetrated against Black bodies, I also think of the deadly weathering effect of living a life of constant, chronic stress and subsequent disease. How could it be otherwise when racism is built into the fabric of our institutions? Let us not forget that this, too, is violence.

As a white woman, I believe the time to stand with the Black community is long overdue. I have not always believed this, having been complicit in violence against Black bodies. In many ways, I know I am still complicit, as I have many, many blind spots; such is the insidiousness of a white supremacist culture, as I am learning and feeling in my body and spirit. But now, standing in solidarity and supporting the demands of the Black community, is something I can do. 

May we someday live in a society where the voices of Black people are heard and believed. Until then, I will try to use my action when I can to elevate these demands of the Black community: 

  1. Remove all harmful punitive policies, practices, and people from school environments, including police, suspension, and expulsion. Do not support politicking or policy decisions that put property over black lives.
  2. We want public institutions to engage in 360 degree accountability through abolitionist restorative justice.
  3. Support and fund a Black-led committee with decision making and implementation power to remedy the deep patterns of harm caused by racist violence in all of 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. 

In solidarity with the Black community,

M.B.