In Every Circumstance. No Matter What.
by Caroline Bennett
In the wake of George Floyd's murder, protests and outrage swept the nation. Yet, while awareness of police brutality and racism have resurfaced in the public arena due to video footage and media coverage, the dehumanization of black lives is far from a new phenomenon.
Systemic racism is embedded into the very fabric of American society; no institution is left unscathed. In fact, our treatment of black lives exemplifies the adage, “the more things change, the more they remain the same.” Our country was built on the labor of African slaves, and the abolition of slavery merely changed the terminology of the systems oppressing of black lives. Systemic racism remains entrenched in our criminal justice system, communities, healthcare system, and schools, producing severe racial disparities across each sector.
Some people contend that poverty, not racism, is the driving force of inequality across racial groups. While racism and poverty certainly overlap and are interconnected, poverty alone does not account for the racial discrimination and disproportionately negative outcomes that people of color experience in America. Even when socioeconomic status and other confounding variables are controlled for, racial disparities remain.
Feminists Choosing Life of New York (FCLNY) is an educational nonprofit and member of the Consistent Life Network, seeking to fight all forms of publicly sanctioned violence through advocacy and social awareness. FCLNY is committed to fighting for justice for all people facing oppression and promoting the sanctity of ALL black lives. During this time of increased awareness of how police violence disproportionately impacts people of color, it is crucial that we emphasize the systemic nature of racism in America and how it extends beyond police interactions and into the very fabric of our society.
To this end, FCLNY has launched an anti-systemic racism campaign to raise awareness about systemic racism and how we can be agents of change, as well as fundraise for organizations dedicated to empowering our communities of color. On their website, you can read the full report on how systemic racism has impacted the criminal justice system, wealth generation, reproduction, healthcare, and education. The paper provides a historical account of systemic racism, contextualizing contemporary racial disparities by diving into America’s dark past and illuminating the systems of oppression that are preventing black Americans from realizing the rights and quality of life they are afforded as human members of our society. By learning our history and developing deeper understandings of systemic racism, we will be better equipped to identify and address racism in our daily lives, serving as anti-racist allies in this nationwide quest for racial justice
In addition to the report, FCLNY partnered with Im Livin B, a black-owned, printing company to create a customized, All Black Lives Matter lawn sign to disseminate in our communities. A portion of the proceeds will benefit The Fortune Society, Mocha Moms, Peaceprints of WNY, and One Hundred Black Men - organizations that are committed to supporting and empowering our black community.
The hope is that this lawn sign campaign educates the public on systemic racism and inspires people to continue learning about how they can interrupt these systems and become strong allies and agents of change in their communities. Please join us in our efforts to educate our community on systemic racism and move toward a society that embraces an anti-racist mindset, propelling us toward a future where all human life is deeply respected and valued.
There are several ways you can donate and support FCLNY’s anti-racism campaign. You can donate on FCLNY’s website, their GoFundMe page, or send your donation via CashApp - their cashtag is $FCLNY, Also, you can read, print, and share the infographic and report so you can teach others about systemic racism in America.