It has been more than a month since the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown and the highly militarized and repressive police response to the rallies and demonstrations that came in its wake. The scenes still seem misplaced, as if taken from a history book illustrating the height of the Civil Rights Movement in 1964. Yes, in 2014, 50 years after the Civil Rights Act, African-American and Latino communities are still fighting to end systemic discrimination, and for the inclusion of our voices and concerns in the national dialogue.
There are Fergusons all over the country. In many cities, discriminatory, abusive, and unconstitutional policing threaten the lives and dignity of black and Latino people. Our families and loved ones are disproportionately subjected to unwarranted and invasive stops and searches; inhumane treatment in deportation and detention facilities; and in the worst circumstances, deadly attacks.
United in our struggle, we must work together to strengthen our political power and hold public officials, law enforcement, and the media accountable to our concerns. With a growing number of elections decided by the power of black and Latino voters, and national leaders paying more attention to discriminatory and violent policing than they have for years, we are in a historic moment as we head into this mid-term election, where the nation’s attention is focused on these police abuses. There is a path forward for creating long-lasting change in the injustices targeting communities of color, and it must begin with making sure elected officials speak for us.