The Jewish Law Students Association (JLSA) writes to give voice to our heartbreak and outrage at the murder of Mr. George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis Police officer, as well as countless other Black Americans who have been murdered as a result of systemic racism and white supremacy. We honor their memories and stand in solidarity with the Black Law Students Association (BLSA), Black Jews, and the Black community at large.
Back in May 1947, two baseball players, Jackie Robinson and Hank Greenberg, formed a bond based upon mutual respect, encouragement, and support. Robinson, a Black man, was accosted with racial slurs so venomously during games that he nearly suffered a nervous breakdown. Unlike most white men in baseball, Greenberg, a Jew, outspokenly supported Robinson by highlighting the horrible racial injustice directed toward the Black community in our nation. Greenberg realized the different reality for Black people than any other group in the world. We will work within our own communities to help educate and inform, continuing the work of Jews like Greenberg.
White supremacy impacts all of us as Jews, notably our Jewish brothers and sisters of color. We must confront our own erasure of Jews of color, specifically Black Jews. We cannot ignore our own contributions to white supremacy. We must take a stand against white supremacy whenever and wherever we can, and remaining silent is giving our consent to our historical oppressors and the racist violence plaguing the world. Jews fought alongside our Black brothers and sisters in the Civil Rights Movement; we will fight with them now.
Here are some articles and books to read and help educate on white supremacy and police brutality:
- “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack,” by Knapsack Peggy McIntosh
- “Who Gets to Be Afraid in America?” by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi | Atlantic (May 12, 2020)
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
- Acknowledging the struggles of Jews of color within the Jewish community
- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
- When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in
- Twentieth-Century America by Ira Katznelson
- The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row by Anthony Ray Hinton and Lara Love Hardin
Here are links to where you can donate:
- Breonna Taylor’s GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/f/9v4q2-justice-for-breonna-taylor
- George Floyd’s GoFundMe:https://www.gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd
- David McAtee’s GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/f/justicefordavidmcatee
- Marsha P. Johnson Institute; defends and protects the human rights of Black transgender people: https://marshap.org/
- Nina Pop and Tony McDade funds; providing free therapy sessions to Black transgender people: https://www.theroot.com/two-funds-named-for-nina-pop-and-tony-mcdade-will-provi-1843861377
- NYC Mutual Aid groups: https://mutualaid.nyc/get-involved/donate/
- Black Lives Matter: https://blacklivesmatter.com/
If you’re unable to donate, this video, featuring Black artists and musicians, donates all of the ad revenue to Black Lives Matter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCgLa25fDHM&feature=emb_
Also, remember to register to vote: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/us/elections/2020-presidential-election-calendar.html
Black people have suffered, since the birth of this Nation and well before, from an institutionalized system of white supremacy. This does not live up to our nation’s promise of equality, liberty, and justice. The JLSA will continue supporting all members of the Black communities. We stand alongside the BLSA in the ongoing fight against white supremacy for racial justice in this Nation.
Black lives matter. Justice is needed once and for all.
Jewish Law Students Association