BFT Resolution on Black Lives Matter and Racial Equity
Whereas, millions are rightly enraged at the recent murder of George Floyd, an African-American man, by Minneapolis police officers Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao, and J. Alexander Kueng. Chauvin held his knee on Floyd’s neck for seven minutes, strangling him to death. Like with Eric Garner’s death in New York City, Floyd repeated multiple times “I can’t breathe.”;
Whereas, this follows the recent murder of Breonna Taylor in Louisville in her home by cops, the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, who was jogging in his neighborhood, by three white supremacists in Georgia, the recent killings of Tony McDade, a Black transgender man who was killed by Tallahassee Police, and Nina Pop, a Black transgender woman murdered in Missouri, and the countless other examples and forms of violence upon Black bodies;
Whereas, fighting racism in the world with anti-racist practices and policies requires fighting racism with anti-racism in our schools, our unions, and ourselves. With this statement in support of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, BFT aims to make it crystal clear where we stand on this issue. This is the time to make a long term commitment to become an anti-racist, or as the educators leading Washington State Ethnic Studies Now frame it, a racial equity literate educator;
Therefore Be It Resolved That, BFT will share with its members some ways for those committed to racial equity and a struggle against anti-Black racism to get involved in the struggle for #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd and to support the #BlackLivesMatter movement, including:
Further Be It Resolved That, we applaud the Minneapolis Public Schools Board and the University of Minnesota for cutting ties with the Minneapolis Police Department. These are actions school districts and universities around the U.S. can follow to end relations with their local police departments so that not one more student is brutalized or murdered by racist police in their schools or campuses. To stop the school-to-prison pipeline, schools need more counselors and restorative justice programs, not cops;
Further Be It Resolved That the BFT supports the vision of police abolition, and organizations that share such a vision. In support of Black lead organizations locally, we will donate $150 to the Anti Police-Terror Project;
Further Be It Resolved That, BFT will recruit members to form a member-led anti-racist educator committee tasked with anti-racist education and organizing in BUSD and the Berkeley community. This committee would elect a chair or co-chairs, operate under principles established by this committee, and develop proposals to be submitted to the Executive Board for approval.