All of us at Greater Waco Legal Services are outraged at the recent murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. These beautiful souls represent the countless Black and Brown lives that have been stolen from their families and friends, from their communities, and from our nation since 1619. Their murders, and all those others whose names we do not know, were predictable consequences of inhumane police brutality empowered and protected by racist, prejudiced systems that have always treated Black and Brown bodies with violent contempt. We constantly see the carnage that our insidious web of unjust and inequitable systems wreaks on Black and Brown people in our nation — legal, health, education, economic, political, religious, and so many more. Nothing in our nation is left untouched by the false idol of white supremacy. Yet we have turned a blind eye all too often. Our outrage is long overdue, and it is pure garbage lip service if we do not respond with action. Because Black Lives Matter, it’s time for us to dismantle white supremacy.
GWLS was founded upon a mission of holistic advocacy and community-driven problem-solving. We do not exist to provide band-aids alone for individual legal needs. Instead, we must strive to address the deeper causes and root out the harmful sources of our collective afflictions. We now find ourselves more deeply committed than ever before to work that dismantles systems of injustice, destroys racist structures, and dethrones ideologies hellbent on protecting the whiteness of America. Revolution starts at home, and GWLS commits to fight for racial justice in deed and not just word. Therefore, as a starting point, GWLS pledges our commitment to:
In all likelihood, we will mess up occasionally. When we do, it will be wholeheartedly and with wider open arms, clearer eyes, more focused listening ears, and humbler hearts. We ask our community to hold us accountable, to speak truth to us, to trust us to use our power and privilege no longer for the false good of unjust law and order but to trouble the narrative and confront the powers that be. The power of Love and Justice is never more powerful than among those who suffer unspeakable indignities, crushing inequities, and oppressive injustices. We commit ourselves to join those who suffer more fully, where Grace and Hope abound, and together work for a better tomorrow.