First and foremost, the death of George Floyd is tragic and at the Metal Trades Department we cannot allow his demise to be in vain. We mourn with you.
“An injury to one is an injury to all.”
We have all heard the saying in the house of labor, but what does it mean especially when we fail as a movement to address the human and civil rights violations rampant in our country.
Systemic issues such as police brutality, poverty, and racial inequality plague us. The horrific events surrounding George Floyd’s death, the terrifying reports of the killing of Ahmed Aubrey, the deaths across the country of far too many black and brown men and women. It is no wonder we are seeing such fervent protests.
We can utter platitudes and quote the likes of Martin Luther King, Jr., and other great civil rights leaders, but until we actually face the continued problems of unequal justice and institutionalized racism, underinvestment in our communities of color and the continued oppression of black and brown Americans, labor cannot claim to be a great movement.
We must, in the labor movement and at every level of government, from city councils to the office of the President of the United States, admit that racial and income inequality are real, racism in America is real, and detrimental to our society. We must admit that we have a problem. We must truly believe and act as if, “an injury to one is an injury to all.”
Until that happens, America’s greatness will always be challenged.