In less than one month, one after another Black man or woman has fallen under the hands of racist white men. Once again, we have been outraged by the killing of George Floyd. We strongly condemn the continuous racist act perpetrated by police officers who took the oath to serve and protect us. We are saddened that it took over a week to criminally charge the other police officers involved in the fatal and shocking death of Mr. Floyd. We could clearly see in the video circulated on social media that Mr. Floyd, who was already handcuffed and didn’t resist arrest, was on the ground before officer Derek Chauvin put his knees on his neck for over seven minutes until he ran out of breath. Despite his cries “I can’t breathe”, “please I can’t breathe”, the officer didn’t move. George Floyd pleaded for his life. But filled with hate and racism, officer Derek Chauvin with the help and complicity of his colleagues Tou Thao, Thomas Lane, and J. Alexander Kueng pinned his knees on George Floyd's neck until he killed him.
Thanks to social media and with the recent horrible deaths of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, Breanna Taylor in Kentucky, and George Floyd in Minnesota, everyone can at least have an idea of the level of racial inequity that black people have gone through for the past four centuries in America. We have been ripped from our lands and families, sold, enslaved, tortured, murdered, exploited, lynched, stripped and abandoned. We have been deprived of basic human rights such as health care, affordable housing, equitable education, and the list goes on. We have been the primary victims of structural and institutional racism, social injustice, discrimination, bigotry, and police brutality with the full knowledge of all. Black people are three times more likely to be killed by police than their whites’ counterparts. In 1804, Haiti stood up alone to fight colonialism and slavery system to free its people and give them dignity. However, to win against systemic racism and police brutality we need collective actions. We humbly ask our white allies, friends, neighbors, and colleagues to break their silence, to speak out, and to join our fight in having uncomfortable conversations to end racism. As Martin Luther King Jr. “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.”
We welcome the efforts of so many white people, friends and partners who make the decision to come forward to denounce the inhuman acts of their peers. However, we are certain they can do more by calling out racism and discriminatory behaviors of their White fellows against Black people. They can support Black businesses, organizations, and encourage their employers to hire people of color in their businesses and to retain them, and mostly educate their children on the history of Black people.
Hope and Change for Haiti continues its advocacy work to end racism and discrimination against people of color. We thank our partners who stand by our side during this critical time to say NO to injustice, systemic racism, inequity, and police brutality that continues to decimate the Black community.
Dr. Norly Germain