Public Statement 4/13/21
We are grieving with Minneapolis and the world today as our system of government has taken the life of yet another Black man, Daunte Wright, age 20. The police who killed Mr. Wright did so less than ten miles from the ongoing trial of Derek Chauvin, the officer who murdered George Floyd last May, unleashing outrage and unrest nationwide. Neither the trial, nor the outrage was enough of a deterrent to stop the Brooklyn Center officer from senselessly taking another life, proving yet again that state violence is not a problem we can solve officer by officer.
A system of policing that includes the surveillance, abuse, and murder of Black Americans as standard operating procedures is a system that must go.
We can keep telling Black colleagues, patients, and community members to practice self-care. We can keep reminding white staff, patients, and community members to extend grace and remember that state violence and the coverage that surrounds it are traumatizing to BIPOC people.
But it won’t lessen the grief or interrupt the harm.
State violence is not a headline. It is an institution deeply connected to our country’s collective and accepted beliefs and values. We will never be able to dismantle the structural manifestation of those values until we dismantle them within.
Thoughts and prayers are not enough. Those of us who are white must each dismantle the white supremacy around us—structural and interpersonal, covert and direct. We must accept feedback about our unexamined racism as the gift that it is: an opportunity to uproot white supremacy wherever it exists. We must also look for the feedback that is not handed to us so obviously; the BIPOC colleague who appears uncomfortable with something we’ve said or expresses disagreement with our opinion may be seeing the situation from a perspective we have not considered. It’s our job—not theirs—to investigate that possibility and learn.
And if we experience the police as a safe resource we can count on to serve and protect us, we must recognize that not as an experience of a system that works for some and not others—but as a privilege of a white supremacist system with which we are no longer willing to be complicit.
Equitas Health’s Public Policy Team and Board of Trustees recently adopted a new slate of public policy priorities including advocating for racial justice. You can read the full list of Equitas Health’s Public Policy Priorities on our website. We hope you will join us in our commitment to work at local, state, and federal levels to uproot white supremacist policing.