Lt Governor Mandela Barnes on George Floyd and Systemic Racism.

I am trying to catch up on my emails and this one was in a box that I don’t visit often enough (apparently). This message from Lt. Governor Barnes was from May 29th.

Like so many other Black lives in this country, George Floyd’s life was stolen from his family and from his community.

Our state is no stranger to this violence. In George Floyd’s death, we remember those Black Wisconsinites who we have lost to systemic racism and police violence.

We must recognize that, especially in our state, acts of systemic violence are happening every day, and they include more than just fatal police violence. The poverty, poor environmental conditions, and inequitable access to health care experienced by Black communities and other communities of color are a form of systemic violence, too.

Those who are protesting this injustice are doing so in order to save this nation, and they should be protected. To see a city burn on the outside is devastating but hardly compares to the implosion brought by systemic inequity and injustice. Like internal bleeding, you may not see it, but the outcome will be catastrophic if left untreated.

People are hurting. People are tired. We are done dying. I am tired of addressing the disregard for Black life in this country.

Those who question the frustration and anger of communities of color must ask themselves why they are not frustrated, why they are not angered by the injustices carried out in their name.

People want to live in a world free of hate. We want decency, true justice, equity, equality, and opportunity. These are all worth fighting for, and as Lieutenant Governor, I remain committed to helping lead that fight.

So to the Wisconsinites and people across the country watching pain unfold in real time, I ask you to not just watch, but to speak out and to act.

The idea that things should be better, not worse, is worth demonstration.

In solidarity,



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