Content warning: This statement references police brutality, racism and murder.
City on a Hill Press stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. We support all protests and other forms of collective outrage in response to the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and every other Black person killed by the police and white supremacists.
As journalists, we must uplift voices that have been silenced and use our platforms to expose not just overt acts of racism, but also the kinds that run deep within this country and its institutions. We apologize for not explicitly stating our stance at an earlier time and will do better to support our Black staff and community members going forward.
Nationwide and abroad, people have united to condemn police brutality and other acts of white supremacy targeted at Black communities. Some have chosen to denounce these protests rather than the history that fueled them. But these acts of protest, nonviolent or not, do not equate to even a fraction of the damage police brutality has caused Black communities.
Our law enforcement and incarceration systems are predicated on violent anti-Blackness. For centuries these systems have enabled racial profiling, racist sentencing and murder with no justice.
The police officer who knelt on George Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds and the other officers who stood by knew nobody would stop them. Of course all four of these men deserve to be charged with murder. But that is not enough. The entire system that allowed for George Floyd’s death in the first place must be razed to the ground and reconstructed.
Ahmaud Arbery was chased and killed by two white men in February. The men were not charged until May, after immense public pressure. Breonna Taylor was murdered almost three months ago by three police officers while she slept inside of her home. Her murderers have still not been charged.
Tamir Rice couldn’t play in a park. John Crawford III couldn’t shop in a Walmart. Stephon Clark couldn’t speak on the phone. Atatiana Jefferson couldn’t be at home with her child.
Countless other Black lives have been taken. There has been no justice. And we have yet to see real change.
As a media organization and as individuals we must work to be actively anti-racist. This organization would not exist without our dedicated African/Black/Caribbean-identifying members, and we have failed to return their compassion. We must and will do better.