|HOPE Fair Housing Center stands in solidarity with those calling for justice and reform following the racist and senseless murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers. This is only one of the latest in a long line of unlawful acts of brutality resulting in Black and Brown lives lost at the hands of the police structure in America, but we stand with all of those fighting for it to be the last.
As events continued to unfold in the second week of protests, military forces were called upon to violently confront demonstrators in the streets throughout the country who were utilizing their constitutional right to protest and demand change. HOPE supports those using their frustration and despair to demand an end to the injustice that has plagued our country since its inception. White and non-Black people of color must use this time to talk less and listen more to our Black brothers and sisters. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. famously said, “a riot is the language of the unheard.” We hear you and we are listening. The systemic racism that exists is a barrier to creating justice and equality for people of color, and so too is the current structure of law enforcement in our communities.
As Lisa Rice, President and CEO of the National Fair Housing Alliance, stated, “Residential segregation is the bedrock of inequalities we see.” In spite of the passage of the Fair Housing Act (FHA) in 1968 and its strong enforcement mechanisms, residential segregation has continued to worsen over the years.
Since the passage of the FHA, HOPE has fought for and promoted nondiscrimination in housing. The goal of any nonprofit organization is to fulfill its mission and make its vision for the future a reality, but the reality is that after 50 years HOPE is still fighting just as hard to see a future without housing discrimination. HOPE still believes that this mission can be achieved.
This battle is not a sprint, but a marathon. Effective change will take time, hard work, and patience to enact. We do not have all the answers, but we are committed to continual learning and listening together. HOPE will always support and fight with those who have been impacted by historical and present-day racism to realize a discrimination-free future.
An important component of reaffirmation of allyship with Black and non-Black people of color must include listening, learning where support is needed, and challenging engrained implicit biases. Black voices that have been ignored and overlooked for generations must be amplified and respected.
HOPE highly encourages support for Black authors, columnists, journalists, artists, small business owners, and donations to organizations challenging the power structure and safe-guarding Constitutional rights and freedoms, such as the Equal Justice Initiative, Southern Poverty Law Center, American Civil Liberties Union, and ACLU Illinois. There are also many relevant articles, some listed below, that highlight ways to better understand and discuss what is currently happening in America.
With love, peace, and in solidarity,
The HOPE Fair Housing Center Staff
“For Black Americans, Using Social Media Means Risking PTSD” by A.T. MCWILLIAMS
“Bryan Stevenson on the Frustration Behind the George Floyd Protests” by Isaac Chotiner
“75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice” by Corinne Shutack