Sisters and Brothers -
At Drivers Union, we share in the grief and outrage at the murder of Brother George Floyd and stand in solidarity with his family and the families of so many other innocent black and brown people who have been killed by the police. We condemn the killing of Manuel Ellis in Tacoma, the senseless shooting of Charleena Lyles in Seattle, and so many other brutal murders across Washington State and across the country.
The police officers responsible for these crimes must be brought to justice, but we can’t stop there. We need sweeping reform to root out the racism that plagues our police departments. We need to demilitarize the police and reimagine the way police interact with the community. We can no longer criminalize people based on the color of their skin.
All communities must be treated with compassion and respect.
But our reforms must go deeper. We must also reform our criminal justice system that convicts, imprisons, and executes black and brown people at a grossly disproportionate rate as white people. We need to transform our health care system so that people of color are not dying from COVID-19 at higher numbers than whites. We need equality in public education, public housing, in government and in the workplace so that people of color have access to good, family-wage jobs. To build an equitable society, we must have economic justice for all.
So many of us in Drivers Union are immigrants who came to this country seeking a better future for our families. As a political refugee and human rights activist, I fled South Sudan, my war-torn homeland, and came to this country on the promise of a better life. My daughter was born and raised here and is proudly black and American. As a driver, I’ve worked hard to support my family and am grateful for all this country has offered me, but I fear for my daughter’s life and for her future. Unless we can come together with love and demand systemic change, the tragedy of Brother George Floyd will be repeated. I believe America can do better.
Drivers Union President