Dismantling Louisiana’s Institutional Racism Requires Standing Together in the Face of Political Games


Photo courtesy of Jamal Anthony Taylor

Say their names: Ronald Greene, Trayford Pellerin, Modesto Reyes, Breonna Taylor, and always a new name. This exhaustion we feel is proof of our collective momentum in taking down a racist system. The malignant cancer of racism in Louisiana is more subversive and dangerous than any hurricane we might endure. We must continue to stand boldly even in our exhaustion. It is in the courage of standing that we give subconscious permission for others to stand with us.

Over the course of the last couple of months we have seen a shift in the mindset of the people across the state. People are beginning to realize the reprehensible nature of bigotry and racism in Louisiana. I have watched as people of all colors, shapes, sizes, and courage have come together in the spirit of equity. Our ability to mobilize has given the movement strength and stability; however, this does not change the fact that we feel hoodwinked, bamboozled, and led astray by those entrusted to stand for us as the front line of defense. I am disgusted by racist; however, at least I know what to expect. In the case of sell-outs, like John Bel Edwards, the leadership of the state party, and some of our elected legislators I am forced to endure their silent complicity. They will attempt to make you believe that some backroom meeting will give you the justice you seek; however, they just hope you get exhausted and give up. No backroom deal will cure the murder of Black people in this state at the hands of police.

Across this state the history of racism runs deep. It isn’t a new prospect; however, it seems that it has been perfected to the place that some have bought into the system. “You need to learn to play the game” is a frequent phrase that we hear from those that have the courage of Judas Iscariot. For 17 months a state sanctioned cover-up has ensued regarding the murder of Ronald Greene. The press statement from the Legislative Black Caucus of Louisiana seeks first to give political cover to the governor, before it even respects the name of Ronald Greene. Peace demands justice and courage, not games. From the outset these “games” were intended for us to lose. “The Game” was created for the purpose of keeping those in power with it and restricting the crumbs to those who subvert those who challenge the game makers.

The stand to challenge those of every political party and every race that do not stand for equity is happening across this country. It is happening because folks are fed up with the lies and deception of fake leaders that make backroom deals. Make no mistake there are warriors that fight tirelessly on our behalf in the legislature and across state government and I am grateful for their efforts. We must elect more like them, and continually hold them accountable to the will of the people not the will of the governor or donors. We have a task ahead; however, those in Louisiana have risen to meet this challenge. Make no mistake that this work does not come with trophies or money, but at least it leaves you with integrity.

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In Louisiana, police do the BLUE Lynching of Black Men. They are given cover by the game that these “leaders” play as if anyone has ever won it. I would encourage you to stand for the sake of standing, because if you don’t we will find ourselves continuing to playing the game that has been rigged against us all along. If you feel convicted, by this message, don’t! Use this message as a tool to trade in your 30 pieces of silver for protest shoes and some courage. STAND!

 

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