Why not try real solutions?
Spokane could just decide to love its community more. Everyone wants less crime, but leaning on police to do all the work just creates more prisoners. We need to actually invest in our community; in each other.
We are mourning. We mourn first with the family of George Floyd, who not only lost a father and friend, but who have endured the inescapable public images of his murder, and waited as justice remains unserved. We mourn next with the community in Minneapolis, where Floyd lived and was killed, and which is still in the throes of pain and protest. And we mourn with our Black community, who is traumatized by yet another senseless death at the hands of those sworn to serve and protect.
George Floyd was not the first. This month we have seen hashtags, like gravestones, pay tribute to Amaud Arbery, Breona Taylor, Tony McDade, and others. May has been bloody, from senseless deaths, to street violence, to the hearts breaking across the nation. Our hearts are breaking here, in Spokane.
We, the members of Spokane Community Against Racism, call on the Spokane community to mourn with us, and to support the Black community as it grieves. More importantly, however, we call on the Spokane community to act.
We call on Mayor Woodward, who has not thus far responded to SCAR’s requests to meet, to listen to the people she was elected to serve, to engage in dialogue, and work with us to dismantle racism and white supremacy in Spokane.
We call on Police Chief Meidl and Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich to work with us to reform policing in the City and Spokane County.
We call on our community leaders to take their place in this movement. As Black leaders step forward we urge others to follow their leadership, support Black goals and demands, and walk in solidarity with the Black community.
We urge every resident of Spokane County to not only proclaim anti-racism in the streets, but to take an active stance against systemic racism in daily life, and be accountable to those most affected by it.
We can’t respectability-politics our way out of this. We need comprehensive police reform before we can heal centuries of ingrained racism. We sincerely hope Spokane can be the kind of city where Nadine, Craig, and Ozzie will march with us. That’s how peaceful communities need to evolve and Spokane still has a chance to lead by example.
SCAR will continue to speak on this issue, and engage with public figures moving forward.