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by James Vincent, President, NAACP, Providence Branch
The NAACP Providence Branch wishes to congratulate and thank both Black Lives Matter and the courageous students of Step Up RI for their powerful and effective protests over the past two weekends! The expressions of anti-racism are so needed if we are to survive as a society, and they were overwhelming and heartwarming!
Moving forward, the old “normal” which was never “normal” for Black folks is not a place we are going back to. For the first time in a long time, I am more than just cautiously optimistic! The cold-blooded murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer has struck a chord not only with millions of Americans but millions of people, WORLDWIDE with protests persisting for nearly two weeks with no end in sight! Somehow… this time… enough does seem to be enough.
Surely, by now, the vast majority of racism skeptics in Rhode Island who witnessed the horrific killing of George Floyd realize, hopefully, that racism is alive and well in 2020! In fact, 74% of all Americans now feel that the killing of Black people by police are not isolated incidents but a symptom of a problem much deeper. The Ocean State is not immune to the sickness of racism! We know that! The question is what are we willing to do about it?
Moving forward, the NAACP Providence Branch will be focused on the elimination, or the significant reform of the Policemen’s Bill of Rights, Voter engagement including registration and turnout, more judges of color, a $15 minimum wage, Fair Chance Licensing, and more.
Above all, we are willing to work with anyone committed to ending racism in all its forms.
Let’s not lose the momentum so beautifully created by millions of anti-racists. Let’s get to work.. now! Thank you.