Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Stop The Burn Campaign Solidarity with Black Lives Matter

We, the Stop The Burn Campaign leadership and Sierra Club, believe systemic racism is a cancerous tumor that if not treated will ultimately prove fatal to our society. We believe injustice perpetrated on one is an injustice perpetrated on all. Injustice to one community is an injustice to all communities. Disproportionate police brutality on communities of color, mass incarceration, discriminatory lending practices, lack of access to health care, disproportionate exposure to pollution, and many other forms of racial discrimination imposed on black and brown people reflect a system that does not value all lives equally. Our society and collective humanity will continue to decay until our laws, principals and culture place a value on all human life equally, regardless of race or income. This is why both the Stop The Burn Campaign and the Sierra Club firmly stand in solidarity with protests and movements across the nation demanding an end to systemic racism in its many forms.

It is a shame that tragic events like the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and far too many others have to occur to draw our collective attention to the insidious injustices of systemic racism in our country. White Americans have the privilege of ignoring these many issues whereas black and brown Americans, unfortunately, have to experience such injustices as a reality day in and day out. We hope this tough time can create an opportunity for people across all races and socioeconomic backgrounds to unite and demand real accountability for all injustice perpetrated by forms of systemic racism. It is time for all to become a part of the solution.

We must hold our politicians to task to pursue meaningful reform and not just lip service. Policies that recognize and address racial disparities have to be enacted and implemented. These policies have to go beyond just addressing police brutality and mass incarceration. The climate crisis is very much a racial crisis. Black communities are dying from toxic air pollution exposure-related deaths at higher rates than the national average. This is partly because corporate polluters, including industrial agriculture, are permitted to dump toxic pollution on lower-income communities of color while white communities are afforded more protection from pollution and other climate change-related impacts. This environmental injustice is now contributing to the higher rates of COVID-19 deaths in black and brown communities all over the United States. This environmental racism is allowed by regulatory policies; corporate polluters are permitted to profit at the expense of black and brown lives. We must push for clean energy and regenerative agriculture solutions that can provide green jobs that uplift rather than pollute frontline communities.

We hope this becomes a watershed moment for transforming into a more just society.

Signed,

Stop The Burn Campaign Glades Community Leadership Team
Fred Brockman
Sister Laura Cavanaugh
June Downs
Anne Haskell
Brittany Ingram
Elaine Lavallee
Catherine Martinez
Steve Messam
Elena Michel
Kina Phillips
Shanique Scott
Kathey Sullivan
Richard Sullivan

Patrick Ferguson, Sierra Club Organizing Representative