City of Bloomington
Representing District 2
FIRST SATURDAYS CONSTITUENT MEETINGS
On Racism and White Supremacy
July 8, 2020
In recent weeks, I've received hundreds of messages on
the death of George Floyd, policing and police budgets in Bloomington, and the racially charged incidents at Lake Monroe and elsewhere. I've responded to every single message and
want to share my thoughts here as well:
Thanks so much for your message and THANK YOU for caring enough about Bloomington to write to me.
Like every other thinking person, I am absolutely outraged by the incidents at Lake Monroe in recent days, not to mention Dee Davis' experience in his own neighborhood. I was living in Bloomington in 1999, and I vividly remember the day of Won Joon Yoon’s murder by a white supremacist. Along with the anger I feel, I grieve for a community – and a nation – where such events can occur.
So first things first:
I wholly and unequivocally condemn white supremacy,
including the violence it begets and
the racist ignorance on which it is based.
Period. Full Stop.
To clarify a misconception from some of the press coverage ... Neither the Bloomington Police nor the Bloomington City Council have jurisdiction over the events at Lake Monroe. [That authority falls to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR)]. That said, I join so many others in calling on the Monroe County Prosecutor’s office to conduct an immediate and exhaustive investigation, not just of the incident itself, but of how it was handled by DNR officers. There is no place in our society for law enforcement officers who do not uphold the most basic core values of equality, diversity, and justice. Further, we must put into place and enforce substantive hate crime legislation in the State of Indiana.
The powerful words and images from this summer’s protests have been too many to count, but one of the most poignant for me was a young woman, standing alone outside the Monroe County Courthouse and holding a sign that said,
“I am not Black,
but I see you.
I hear you.
I mourn with you.
I will fight for you.”
Literally every day, I pray that I can live up to that standard myself.
I promise you that I will continue working to further educate myself on these critical issues. As a member of the legislative body with fiscal authority for the City of Bloomington, I will ask tough questions and I will challenge assumptions about resources needed for every department, including law enforcement and Community & Family Resources. And for those resources that we do devote to law enforcement, I will push for “more-than-just-what’s-required” training in ethics, use of force policy, implicit bias, de-escalation, and other elements of #8CANTWAIT’s core principles.
I am grateful every single day that I get to live in Bloomington, and even more grateful (and humbled) that I have this opportunity to serve our residents. I hope you will all play your part too.