Justice Together

This is a modified version of a FaceBook post from August 25, 2015: Justice Together Announce

Many of you already know that I have chosen to take a leadership role at Justice Together with the goal of moving Oregon forward with respect to how the police and the community, they are sworn to serve and protect, interact. I truly believe that there is solution to ending police brutality in America.

All of you probably know by now that I spend a lot of time keeping up on current events on our planet. Over the past years or so, especially since the deaths of Eric Garner and Mike Brown, I have watched and read about incident after incident of police abusing their power and getting away with it.

During that same time period, I became aware that even in academic circles, which I had considered to be educated and enlightened on diversity issues, there is still a ton of racial bias, and an almost kneejerk reactive support for police in cases that I clearly saw as police brutality.

Then I started having hard conversations with friends and family and it became clear to me that in many of the police brutality cases, the letter of the law was on the side of the police, regardless of whether their actions were reasonable or just. What is equally clear is that nothing is going to change unless white people stand up and force change.

I’ve read about too many cases of police abusing their power over innocent people, people who look like my students, my son’s friends, my friends, and (if I were of color) even me. I see myself in the words and actions of Sandra Bland as captured in her arrest video, an arrest that never should have occurred.

Watch it; then ask yourself why she spent 3 days in jail, and how she “killed herself” with something that should not even be in a jail cell. Keep in mind this all happened because of a minor traffic infraction, which by Sandra Bland’s own words, was instigated by the officers own driving behavior.

What I see here is racist cop who got butthurt because Sandra “dared” to be irritated with him and to also not comply with his UNLAWFUL order to put out her cigarette. Is this really okay in our country in two-thousand-fucking-fifteen?!?

I think not!!!

It breaks my heart to think we likely will never know what really happened to Sandra Bland, and to too many others liker her.

I believe that our justice system needs to be overhauled or rebuilt from the ground up, and I plan to help lead the team to that end in Oregon. We at Justice Together believe that Oregon is a state that can help to “set the tone” for the entire nation on the issue of police brutality, as we are known for on other national issues.

One of the leaders of this movement, and our fearless leader, Shaun King, whom I have a ton of respect for, has said that this is the civil rights movement of our generation…and I agree.

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