Statement from UNITE HERE President D. Taylor on Police Shootings: ‘As a Union we will confront and take on racism whenever we see it.’
July 11, 2016
“Our lives begin and end the day we became silent about things that matter.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.” – Gandhi
This past week we were faced with horrific murders of innocent young black men and police officers in Dallas. We condemn murder of innocents and extend our heartfelt prayers for all of their families and community.
Dr. King repeatedly condemned violence and knew the power of a nonviolent movement. His insight and vision was not based on weakness but on strength and courage.
We have traveled a ways down the road, but this week reminds us how far we need to go.
Two years ago our Nation was confronted by events in Ferguson, Missouri that clearly demonstrated the lingering legacy of racism and unequal justice in American society. Since that time sadly we have witnessed incidents of police violence against black young men again and again. There have been endless dialogues and policy proposals, but this week we are confronted with the tragic deaths in Baton Rouge and Minnesota.
There can be no possible justification for violence against law enforcement, like what occurred in Dallas. Many of us have relatives and friends who serve in all forms of law enforcement. A thirst for violence only begets more violence.
The UNITE HERE family was recently affected by the tragic death of a member’s daughter in Orlando. Our member in Orlando, Francisca Flores, buried her daughter who was the victim of the massacre at Pulse nightclub.
In UNITE HERE we confront power and forces of oppression with collective action. Young black men getting killed is an affront to everything we stand for.
We fight everyday as a union for the dignity and fundamental rights of workers. We believe every man and woman has value and rights. We live in our communities and as a union, we must stand with our black community today. We also must condemn violence as a means for change.
As a Union we will confront and take on racism whenever we see it. If we see it in our union, we will fight it. If we see it in the workplace, we will fight it. If we see it in our cities, we will fight it.
Please get involved, in your cities and towns to make sure significant changes happen in the justice system, to guarantee the blood must stop. Dignity for all people, should not be a mirage but a reality.
Let us pray for the families who are burying their loved ones and dedicate ourselves for a more perfect and just society.