Showing Up for Racial Justice Santa Barbara stands in solidarity with organizers and protestors in Louisville and across the country in their expressed outrage and actions in response to the verdict resulting in no charges against the officers who murdered Breonna Taylor in her own home on March 13, 2020. We echo the chants of our brothers and sisters in this movement who have been explaining for decades, “No justice, no peace.” This refrain means that until there is acknowledgement of the white supremacy ideology that poisons our criminal, legal, and justice systems, until there is accountability for chronic abuse of power by police officers, and until there is reform and defunding that addresses the devaluation and dehumanization of black lives at the hands of the police, there will be no peace in our country.
Peace is not a reasonable expectation when racism continues to be a public health threat to our black and brown community members and nothing is done about it. Peace is not a reasonable expectation when the very people paid to protect and serve instead abuse their power, recklessly endanger others, and commit murder with impunity. Peace is not a reasonable expectation when America continues to fund a system of terror strategically directed at communities of color: a system that originated for the sole purpose of terrorizing enslaved black people.
As always, we unquestioningly support and echo the wishes, demands, and voices of our black community members and organizers, particularly Healing Justice Santa Barbara.
We recognize that the ideology of white supremacy against which we are fighting is deeply entrenched and pervasive, and any expectation to dismantle it requires commitment, work, and persistence. The battle against racism and racial injustice will not be won with temporary reactions that subside once the news cycle shifts, and so we ask the following long-term commitments from our Santa Barbara Community:
We ask that our white community members match their outrage with action. You must get involved, particularly if you have white racial privilege which affords you unearned credibility, safety, and power. Our black community members and organizers in Santa Barbara are working tirelessly to demand improvements in safety and accountability from our city and local police, and they are getting routinely silenced, ignored, and devalued by both the Santa Barbara City Council and the Santa Barbara Police Department. We ask that you not only support their work but also do your share. Go to sbsurj.weebly.com to get involved.
We ask that all of our community members become informed about and support The BREATHE Act. Learn more at breatheact.org.
Finally, we ask our white community members to listen to and believe the voices and experiences of black people, to refrain from thinking they understand, and to cease telling black people how to feel, protest, or mourn. We ask you to instead join us in solidarity to support, honor, and echo the voices of black Americans here in Santa Barbara and across the nation as we demand justice.
Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) is a national network of groups and individuals working to undermine white supremacy and to work toward racial justice. Through community organizing, mobilizing, and education, SURJ moves white people to act as part of a multi-racial majority for justice with passion and accountability. SURJ SB is the Santa Barbara Chapter of SURJ National.