Bend the Arc rises in solidarity with the movement for Black lives and the powerful uprising all across this country demanding dignity and justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, Sean Reed, James Scurlock, David McAtee and countless other Black lives taken at the hands of police officers and white supremacist violence.
In this moment, we are being called as a country to dismantle the centuries-old structures of white supremacy that dehumanize and terrorize Black people — and to build a more just America in its place.
We call for our Jewish community, especially white Jews, to rise up for Black lives using all of our spiritual, political and intellectual resources — and to also work to dismantle racism and white supremacy in our Jewish community.
Here are 3 things our Jewish community can do right now to show our commitment to Black lives and Black liberation, including to Black Jews:
1. Support the Movement for Black Lives week of action June 1-5
The Movement For Black Lives, and organizers mobilizing across the country, invite you to uplift and fight alongside those turning up in the streets and online.
2. Sign the petition for #JusticeForFloyd
Join over 3 million people who added their name to Color of Change’s petition demanding the officers who killed George Floyd be charged with murder.
3. Support the leadership of Black women in Congress
Call your House representative right now and demand that they co-sponsor and push for a vote on Representatives Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, Barbara Lee, and Karen Bass’s resolution to condemn police brutality, racial profiling, and use of excessive force.
We’ll share more ways to act throughout the week.
Last Thursday night, we entered the holiday of Shavuot, commemorating the moment that we received the Torah and became the Jewish people, with a social contract and obligations to one another.
The protests of this past week are calling our country to examine our social contract — and to take action for Black lives. This includes not just ending police violence and mass incarceration but investment in housing, health, education, community, and care.
It’s past time to build an America where Black people are no longer killed by the police. It’s past time to see that these demands for the safety and dignity of Black lives are the floor, not the ceiling, for a society in which we are all truly free to live and love.
That promise of a liberated future is being called into being by Black organizers and activists. Thousands of Americans, young and old, of all races and ethnicities, are already in the streets, providing mutual aid, donating to bail funds, and calling for justice.
But we also see police forces in city after city erupting in violence against Black protesters, elected officials, and journalists alike (after ignoring armed far-right militia groups at Reopen protests — and a rapid descent into state violence) a violence that Black liberation movements have faced throughout our country's history. And we see white nationalists trying to take advantage of the situation to fuel a race war, while the president repeatedly calls for violence against Black people and protesters.
Right now a more just America is struggling to be born. Our choice is clear: We rise as one so we can thrive as many.
Thank you for everything you are able to do this week and the coming weeks for Black lives.
The Bend the Arc team
This page's cover photo depicts a mural honoring George Floyd in Minneapolis. Mural by Greta McLain, Xena Goldman and Cadex Herrera, with artists Maria Javier, Rachel Breen, Niko Alexander, and Pablo Helmp Hernandez.