Once again, our nation has witnessed unthinkable and senseless violence with the tragic murder of George Floyd.
The Association of Law Firm Diversity Professionals (ALFDP), a not-for-profit professional association whose mission is to act as a catalyst for the advancement of diversity and inclusion in the legal profession, stands firmly against all forms of racism and violence, especially at the hands of law enforcement. We call on federal, state and local leaders to ensure an immediate and thorough investigation, and to hold the police officers responsible for Floyd’s murder accountable for their actions. The ALFDP also stands in solidarity with the black community.
In the days after Floyd’s murder, we have seen black men and women violently attacked by law enforcement, falsely accused of horrific crimes, slandered in the media, and gaslighted – all in response to demanding rightful change.
The deaths of George Floyd, tackled and suffocated for allegedly forging a check; Breonna Taylor, murdered by police that entered the wrong home; and Ahmaud Arbery, hunted and slain for jogging while black, are three heartbreaking examples of the systemic racism targeting the black community that has plagued our nation for centuries. In addition, the false accusation against Christian Cooper exposed more of us to the racial profiling and cruelty the black community endures on a daily basis by simply being in a public park.
The legal community should be horrified that violence against the black community by the police has become a regular occurrence in American society. And, we must act.
Every member of the legal community bears the responsibility to eliminate bias and enhance diversity by upholding and enforcing the nation’s laws, as part of the oath each individual attorney made to enter legal practice. Now more than ever, we must all speak out against racist actions.
We all must raise our voices to ensure everyone understands that persecution and hate are not acceptable. We all must commit to listening and learning from these situations. We each need to dig deep and explore our own biases. We all must take on the emotional tax that racism has burdened our black colleagues and neighbors with for far too long.
Racism has no place in our democracy or this world. At this most difficult time, the legal community must utilize its unique position and act together to change the narrative that has defined our nation for centuries. We must work to ensure every member of every community is not only awarded equal opportunity, but also protected by and from the police, regardless of their race.