Response to video footage release from Memphis

Dear VISIONS family:

I try to understand the need for all Americans to view the appalling video that was released tonight. Sadly, for some, it’s arguably needed as a reminder that this type of violence happens every single day and Tyre Nichols’ murder is not an isolated incident.  It’s a continuation of the long-standing practice of police killings of unarmed Black Americans. 

I cannot believe we continue to have these conversations, and some think there’s a need to show these horrific images – as if “seeing it to believe it” is what’s necessary.

Racial profiling and personal biases are real…it may not be any one individual’s fault that we caught the virus of racism; however, it is our job to work on ourselves and work to hold accountable the corrupt systems that have been in place for centuries. We need an end to racial profiling, police brutality, and the killings of unarmed Black people. There is no “but” to it. There is no exception. Full stop. Period. 

I can imagine that any of you who’ve seen the video or heard about Nichols’ murder are likely negatively affected, and our Black colleagues and friends are undoubtedly more impacted.  I can only imagine how much they see themselves, brothers and sisters, children, and loved ones as being as susceptible to being pulled over and similarly brutalized and terrorized. This most recent murder and the media frenzy around it may continue to remind some of the generational trauma experienced as a result of police brutality and cultural-level racism and oppression.  It’s also no surprise that the police force acted as swiftly as it did to fire and charge the police officers involved – who are all Black. 

I hope all of you find ways to engage in self-care, including taking the time you need to recover from this most recent example of racial violence.

VISIONS is rooted in Afrocentricity and the deep belief that Black is beautiful. And not just that Black Lives Matter – Black lives are valued. Let’s keep working toward our mission where we envision a world where differences are acknowledged and honored, and these deep seeded inequities no longer exist.

Grateful to be in community with all of you,