President and CEO of the NAACP, Derrick Johnson, issued the following statement surrounding the events of protest in Minneapolis:
“The murder of George Floyd by police is an unspeakable tragedy. Sadly, police brutality against the Black community has been an ever-present circumstance since its origin to preserve the system of slavery.
Black families and communities across this country are unified at this moment by unfortunate circumstances. The uprising spreading across this country is fueled by systemic racial issues that have been ingrained in the fabric of this nation for decades. As we’ve seen over the last few days, these issues have now manifested into anger, sadness, fear, and confusion. Many throughout the country are left to consider at this moment after watching the horrific footage of George Floyd: When is enough, enough?
As a father, I know what it’s like when my sons and daughters want to leave the house and being scared that they may never return. As a husband, I consider my wife and the life she would be left to navigate if I was prematurely taken from her and my children as yet another unexplainable death. As a Black man, I consider how much longer I can be asked to bear the brunt of these social injustices without meeting force with force. But as a community, we must also find what is at stake. We must consider the lives we are attempting to forge for our families and communities. Additionally, we must act in our best interest to knock down the walls of injustice that will grant future generations access to higher social, economic, and political power.
In this hour, our communities are angry, saddened. But we must be strategic and measured as we battle this latest grave injustice. The NAACP will not rest until we see these officers charged and convicted for the murder of George Floyd. We must keep our focus on redressing the systemic racism against our community that led to this tragedy. We cannot afford to do so while losing more Black sons and daughters.
We must protest peacefully, demand persistently, and fight politically. But most of all, we must vote in November.”
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our six “Game Changer” issue areas here.