Alliance Community Responds to Breonna Taylor Outcome
The unjust ruling of Breonna Taylor’s case weighs heavy on our hearts this week. Here are reactions from female-identifying members of the Alliance community in solidarity of Ms. Taylor.
Dear Black Girl,
I see you. I hear you. I’m mad too.
For me, it feels like a moment to call out the anger, disappointment, and hurt that comes with being a black woman in America and to really speak to us specifically. So often we're neglected, disrespected, left out of conversations, left out of movements, when in reality, we're often the backbones of those movements. When in reality, we're constantly doing emotional labor. We're lifting up our families, our friends, our children, our partners. We're organizing. We're advocating. We're working. All the while, we're expected to be strong, but not angry. We're expected to fight for women, while white women call the cops on Black men. We're expected to fight for all women, but all women don't fight for us. That was made abundantly clear in the 2016 election when white women turned out to vote for Trump. We're expected to nurture, but we're four times more likely to die in childbirth or from pregnancy related complications than white women. We're expected to act professionally in our places of work but are forced to navigate the minefield of racism and sexism that is unique to us. We're expected to exude black girl magic, even when we feel less than magical.
And we are TIRED. At least I am. Black Girl, I see you. I love you in a way that is unconditional and indescribable, and you matter to me.
Do Black lives matter to you when they're still breathing or is it just a trendy thing to post on Instagram?
Every day I channel my work through the experiences I have lived as a Black woman on this earth. I work for equality, I argue for diversity in our stories, I champion making safer and more welcoming environments for people of color. But all this work is for nothing if the most dangerous place for me to be is lying in my bed. I must now live with the knowledge that in 2020 America, the murder of a Black woman still leads to a moment where the systems tells us that no moral or legal wrong has been done to her. This is one of the continuing, long standing dimensions of being a Black woman in this society. Justice for Breonna Taylor is not just about one grand jury decision. Justice for Breonna Taylor is living in a world where EVEYRBODY has the same inalienable rights to LIFE, LIBERTY and the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS – even Black Women. #sayhername
In this most horrific, unthinkable moment, I am desperate for words. Words that might change the hearts and minds of people who for some unfathomable reason do not see the injustice in front of them. Words that when linked to the words of others, might somehow prevent the needless death of another bright, young black woman. But in the absence of those elusive words, I sadly and proudly offer my love, my support, and my commitment to change.
Drywall is replaceable: Breonna Taylor's life is not. There is no justice for all until there is justice for Breonna.
As I watch RBG be laid to rest, in state, at the U.S. Capitol, the first woman in history to be so honored, I am tempted to be proud of our country's progress. But that temptation is quickly highjacked in my mind, because of the injustice....the injustice that continues to beat down on my BIPOC brothers and sisters. As a Christian I am outraged; as a woman, I am sad; as a white person I accept my own accountability. And as a friend to all of my fellow BIPOC female identifying co-workers, I send you my acknowledgement that while I cannot know how you feel, powering through work over Zoom calls, I stand with you in this fight.
What pains me the most is that Breonna Taylor’s death wasn’t just the result of one moment of injustice; it was a series of injustices. The system isn’t working if there can be so many questionable decisions and points of failure – from the initial warrant process all the way to the execution of the warrant. Our nation should hold itself to the highest standards and not accept haphazard due diligence.
"I keep wondering how this story would look if Breonna had been white. At which point would the plot have diverged? Before the entry? Before the shooting? At the indictment? Would the cries of protestors be heard - or even necessary? I look at the big picture and feel so overwhelmed and hopeless by the scope that I tend to end up in a motionless puddle. I’m starting to realize though, that the trick is not to submit to a narrative of helplessness or useless wondering. The trick is to take a more active role in my less intimidating, immediate, interactable world. Finding ways to be a positive force in my realm of influence won’t bring justice to Breonna Taylor, but the ripple effect might eventually disrupt the complacent lake that let her drown."
Cindy Lou Who
No justice, no peace; vote, be counted.
Losing a loved one leaves an irreparable hole in our lives, in our hearts. The loss of Breonna Taylor has assuredly left a such hole in the hearts of her family. It has also left a hole in America's heart and a hole in the very life of our nation. She was one person. She was all people. I am one person. I am everyone. As I learn to listen, I also learn to stand and to ask and to speak. I stand with Breonna Taylor, and add my voice to the lamentations, over the gross and appalling injustice that plagues our country. So that this loss of her precious life, and the gaping hole in the heart of our nation - so that neither go unnoticed, unnamed. "The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything." - Albert Einstein
Susan V. Booth
Breonna Taylor was denied voice, life, and justice. Those of us accorded all three must use them in her memory and in support of our BIPOC colleagues and friends to call out their value, their rights, their humanity and their dignity. That is our work to do.
"I am teaching a theatre class and had planned an assignment for this Thursday where the students bring in a newspaper article on a topic they care about. Then they practice a list of Boal-inspired critical reading techniques. Almost all my Black students brought something about the verdict on the police officer in the Breonna Taylor case. A few white students did too. With an article whose title started by naming the "charged" Lieutenant, we agreed we would use a technique to interject with a title focused on Breonna. By the end of class, they added a new technique #SayHerName to the list. Honestly, I wish I had made more space to discuss the significance of this event, but I didn't. I didn't even know how to begin. I was just really grateful that the students knew how to make that lesson work better than I ever could."