Justice for George Floyd

Source: Palestinian-American artist Shirien Damra's illustration paying tribute to George Floyd. @Shirien.Creates / Instagram

Source: Palestinian-American artist Shirien Damra’s illustration paying tribute to George Floyd. @Shirien.Creates / Instagram

This has not been a normal week, and frankly “normal”, was never just, was never safe, and was never equal. We are told that our country is great, but how can it be so when bigotry flourishes, both outwardly and stealthily in ways that threaten people’s lives.

We must do better.

Our hearts go out to the family and friends of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, the other countless victims of police brutality, and to all protesters as they exercise their right to make their voices heard.

The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) fully supports the constitutional rights of those protesting across the nation against racial injustice. The Black Lives Matter movement is demanding the justice, equality, and respect which is long overdue in a country that has a very long and ugly history of oppressing Black Americans. The devastating lack of national leadership to unite our country when we need it most was displayed in plain view last night when Trump used tear gas, helicopters, and rubber bullets on peaceful protestors.

These brutal murders are driven by a systemic racism that too many have failed to acknowledge. What happened to George, Ahmaud, Breonna, and so many others is a consequence of not only outright racist brutality, but also of our collective neglect to fully address racial inequality.

While the arrest of one officer is a step, all four officers involved in the murder of George should be convicted. However, only a change in police department culture across the country would help prevent future racist police violence.

At CEH, we believe people who disproportionately suffer from environmental and social injustice have the right to determine what change their communities need most and lead the process of creating that change. We hope that our work can support our Black colleagues, friends, family, and neighbors so that they can be safe and healthy, instead of terrorized and traumatized.

Internally at CEH, we are working with experts to help us more deeply institutionalize our justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion principles into the way we work.

CEH will continue to recognize these injustices and live by our promise to create a healthier environment for all.

In solidarity,

Michael Green