This last week has been incredibly difficult for all Americans. The truth is, the weight we are all feeling in this moment has been carried by BIPOC for centuries. Frankly, the last week has highlighted that we live in two different Americas. Black parents bear the burden of teaching their children how to live in a world that sees the color of their skin before seeing the individual. My white friends have taught their children that police are there to help, to not be afraid when they see the flashing lights, and to actively seek out uniformed helpers in times of crisis. Meanwhile, my black friends have taught their children to put their hands on the dash if they are pulled over, to leave stores with the bag in one hand, and the receipt, visible, in the other, and to avoid confrontations with police at all costs. How do we move beyond these deep wounds and create an America where we are all truly free? It is not enough to not be a racist, we must all be actively anti-racist, which includes interrogating our own beliefs. Doing this is uncomfortable and difficult, but it is the only way to get to real growth. For far too long, BIPOC have been doing the heavy lifting in the work of deconstructing race, and calling out racist attitudes and beliefs. These systemic issues that exist in our culture have created two Americas, not separate, but unequal. We need broad, structural reforms to enact real change in this country. This work starts close to home. First, I encourage the city of Phoenix to fully fund and support the Phoenix civilian review board. We need transparency and oversight to ensure that acts of police violence in the city of Phoenix are examined and officers are held accountable. Second, I encourage Governor Ducey to call a special session of the Arizona Legislature to address training, accountability, and transparency for our Arizona law enforcement. This way, we can ensure that our law enforcement officers have the tools that they need to do their jobs in a way that is safe for all Arizonans.
Here are some great resources to help educate yourself, as well as support the black community.