Racism and racial bias has shaped the creation of policy across America since its founding. For hundreds of years, these racist policies have oppressed communities, and undermined social and economic opportunity for people of color.
From the colonization of Indigenous communities and the theft of Indigenous land; to the systematic enslavement of Black people; to Jim Crow; to segregation policies such as redlining, which excluded Black and Brown communities from federal home buying programs between the 1930s and late ’60s; to “tough on crime” laws that specifically target Black and Brown men: racism is still very much entwined with American life.
Today, policy choices and actions continue to both intentionally and unintentionally perpetuate white supremacy. These policies continue to cause harm to communities of color in many areas—housing, healthcare, food security, education, economic stability and within the criminal justice system—with tragic consequences.
What has happened to George Floyd, and to so many others, is not a random act of violence. It is the brutal end point of a system of racist policies. Ending racism requires us all to be more than passive non-racists, but to become active in dismantling racist policies to replace them with anti-racist ones.
While the racial inequities in Hawaiʻi may be different than in the Continental United States, they are no less damaging to our communities. We stand in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and all those working to end racism. We strengthen our commitment to an anti-racist agenda that centers and uplifts impacted communities and works tirelessly to bring about racial, ethnic, and gender equity for all people.
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