Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, was shot by police on Sunday in Minneapolis. Another Black man killed by police. And while media pundits and legal commentators debate whether this specific case was an accident, we know that systemic racism — the ideology of White Supremacy that denigrates the value and dignity of Black, Indigenous and all people of color (BIPOC) — is no accident. It is embedded in every aspect of our social lives, in our relationships, and our social institutions through laws, policies and practices. White Supremacy impacts every aspect of our lives and culture.
It shows up in the incredible disparities we see in food insecurity across Oregon and Southwest Washington: Black households face hunger at twice the rate of White households.
It shows up in consistent racial profiling: research shows that police stop Black men five times more often than White men.
It shows up in our communities: the lives of Black men of all backgrounds are at risk every day — in many cases from the very people who are supposed to protect us.
We know that every interaction with police increases Black men’s odds of experiencing threats, violence and death. And Oregon Food Bank is feeling profound anguish for all Black boys and men whose lives are in danger.
We are feeling a gut-wrenching grief — for our communities, for all mothers, for all fathers, for parents and loved ones of all genders, for all people of color whose precious children are under the threat of death every day in this country. And we are also feeling determined to labor, individually and collectively, to continuously engage in the vital work toward racial and economic justice.
We know that we can’t end hunger without uniting against racism and White Supremacy. Systemic racism is a root cause of poverty, the number one driver of hunger. Systemic racism is also woven through our lives, from healthcare to education to criminal justice — and stark racial inequities within these systems keep our communities in hunger and poverty.
Today, we lift these realities even higher, and caringly hold with love in our hearts and minds our BIPOC colleagues, friends and families. We are with each other and we hold each other with love. And we commit to continue to grow our capacity to engage in, uproot and dismantle White Supremacy that is embedded in ourselves, our organization and our community.
We are in community. Black Lives Matter.