I’m pleased to share the following statement of solidarity by myself, the Howard University School of Law Class of 2017 and the Howard University School of Law Student Bar Association.
For Immediate Release:
November 2, 2014
We, the undersigned individuals, diverse members of the Howard University School of Law Class of 2017 and the Student Bar Association, write to express our deep and enduring solidarity with our brothers and sisters in St. Louis County. We wish to convey our unqualified support to those who have risked their safety, education and employment to demand to the world that black lives do in fact matter—before and after death.
As social engineers, and future practitioners of law, we are uniquely concerned with the ways in which law—and the attendant enforcement of law—effect minoritized and socio-politically disempowered peoples. We are invested in a system of law that is human facing—situated on the belief that black and brown lives matter—and unchained from long-standing and long-held racial stereotypes, inequities and extrajudicial remedies.
For far too long, from slavery to Jim Crow and into the millennium, Americans of African—and often Latino—descent have lived under a parallel legal system. We are arrested more often and punished more harshly for crimes of imputed, generational poverty than any other racial group in America, despite committing these crimes at lower rates. The loving and liberatory coalitions of Tubman, Dubois, Hamer, Douglass, Truth, Marshall, X, King, Carmichael, Chavez, Davis, Baez and Shakur have come and gone yet the purloining of our lives continues unabated.
Every 28 hours, an unarmed black person is killed by a police officer. These individuals have no means to create lethal conditions or fear of loss of life for officers. Their only furtive action, their only crime, is the crime of breathing while black. Unfortunately, no national repository for this data exists, and Latinos have been left out of the national conversation.
“We’re young. We’re strong. We’re marching all night long. Fight back! Fight Back!”
It is our purpose to work with you, as well as all concerned people around the world, to bring about the realization of the promise of equal justice for all. We refuse to allow the extrajudicial slaying of another black or brown woman, man or child. Black bodies are human bodies. Black rights are human rights. We will not rest until it is so.
We stand with you, assisting however we may, in honor of Mike Brown, Renisha McBride, Carlos Mejia, Trayvon Martin, Rekia Boyd, Frank Alvarado, Jordan Davis, Kathryn Johnston, Yvette Smith, Osman Hernandez, Oscar Grant, Ezell Smith, ourselves and the many, many beautiful and consequential black and brown bodies to come.
In Love, Solidarity & Power,
Howard University School of Law Class of 2017
Howard University School of Law Student Bar Association