George Floyd’s life mattered. Like Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and too many others whose names we don’t know, Floyd was stolen from friends and family members who loved him and cared about him. His murder cannot be undone, and it is our most recent reminder of the fact that white supremacy, police violence, and racism are dangerously prevalent forces in America today.
As the Editors in Chief of BPR, we write to affirm our support for the peaceful protestors around the country demanding police accountability, and to add our voices to those calling for the delivery of justice in response to George Floyd’s murder. Fundamentally, the Brown Political Review aims to further political discourse on campus and beyond by publishing a broad range of Brown students’ political opinions, and critically examining political issues relevant to our student body. Such discourse, however, is under dire threat when any individual can be denied their life or basic rights on the basis of their race.
This moment should be recognized, too, as a hopeful one. We have an opportunity to make real progress on the underlying causes of Floyd’s death and to change the legal systems and social norms that support and shelter racism and police brutality. White supremacy, systemic racism, and police violence are deep-rooted and longstanding problems that have been woven into the social fabric of America since its founding, and true justice will only come from hard work to create systemic change. Local political engagement in tandem with coordinated protest are some of the most effective ways to ensure that police and city officials are held to account.
We encourage all of our readers and staff to consider how you can best personally contribute to the fight against racism and police brutality. Speak to your city council members, county executives, mayors, and governors. Speak to your family and friends. Consider donating to an organization committed to combating the issues at hand. Participate in a peaceful protest if you feel you can do so safely.
Finally, given BPR’s commitment to sharing student viewpoints, and given the importance of hearing and listening to black voices at this critical juncture in America’s history of racism, we encourage you to read the recent statement from our Brown University Black Student Union. At the bottom of this post you will find links both to that statement, as well as the NAACP’s “We Are Done Dying” campaign which offers ways you can take action.
Peter & Zander, Editors in Chief