An Open Letter affirming the protesters’ point of view and vision for this movement.
We, the protestors of Ferguson and beyond, in order to fulfill the democratic promise of our union, establish true and lasting justice, accord dignity and standing to everyone, center the humanity of oppressed people, promote the brightest future for our children, and secure the blessings of freedom for all black lives, do ordain and dedicate ourselves to this movement of radical liberation.
We, the protestors, believe that that our nation can only be great when it affirms and empowers all. All must mean all, and include especially those who define the global majority but whom American practices have confined to the margins. We, the protestors, are many people. But this movement, summoned by Mike Brown’s blood and the gas-fueled tears in Ferguson, affirms the fundamental humanity of blackness. Women among us have reminded you that black lives do indeed matter. Men among us have admonished you not to forget them. Children among us have required you to stand up for them. Their humanity is not negotiable simply because of their darker hue. Our various identities are in no way diminished by prioritizing this fight for the dignity of black people, in this time and place, where such priority is a matter of life and death.
We, the protestors are committed to this, and if you are likewise committed, you too are one of us. We stand in solidarity with Tamir Rice, Rekia Boyd, Eric Garner, Ezell Ford, and Dontre Hamilton, among others. The police occupied state of oppression which black people inhabit has stolen more lives than we can name. Where injustice abides, we are and will be. We are everywhere.
We, the protestors, are dedicated to justice, a road on which there are no shortcuts. The time is urgent, but the work is long, and when we build together we are the masters of our own fate. The old African proverb teaches us that going far requires us to go together. This space is a hub for community, a statement of belief in the power of current generations to unite and organize.
We, the protestors, in this community, are committed to the truth, wherever it takes us. We will speak truth to one another as we speak truth to the status quo that got us here. In this community, our multiple, intersectional identities are valued, and we work together – the marginalized and the ally, the gay and the straight, the theist and the atheist – unified and respectful. In this community, we will not cower in fear and we will no longer be silent. We will stand strong, unashamed of our vision of equity and unafraid to fight for it.
We, the protestors, are here to build community that is empowered to establish a new political and social reality that respects and affirms blackness and the humanity therein. We believe this vision, centered on blackness, will abolish the beliefs and systems that subjugate all marginalized people. We can withstand the evils of white supremacy that oppose such a vision, because at our core is love, accountability, and a thirst for justice.
We, the protestors, hold these truths to be self-evident, that all are created equal, that they are endowed with certain unalienable Rights, among which are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Permission is granted to reprint. 1.15.15. Many voices were involved in the writing of this letter. For questions, please contact @deray or @nettaaaaaaaa.