Here in Wisconsin, we continue to witness the impact of oppressive systems steeped in white supremacy as Jacob Blake and his family see no charges after he was shot in the back seven times by a white police officer in front of his children, paralyzing him from the waist down. The decision of Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley not to charge any police officers in the shooting of Jacob Blake is abhorrent. Jacob Blake and his family are amongst countless lives impacted by the deadly endemic police violence against Black lives, reinforced by a history and present of systemic racism in the U.S.
Our grief over the system’s inaction in Mr. Blake’s case was further elevated the next day when the U.S. Capitol was attacked by a mob of white supremacists, and we saw unfold before our eyes the stark contrast in military and law enforcement responses to this attack as compared to non-violent Black Lives Matter protests.
As we’ve stated before and reaffirm today: All oppression is connected. We can not end intimate partner violence without addressing all forms of oppression. At the root of the violence against Jacob Blake and the mob in D.C. is white supremacy. In the words of Amita Swadhin:
For people of color, particularly poor people of color who are being heavily policed, who are being over-incarcerated, we know that oftentimes in interactions with police, people’s lives are on the line. People are being raped by the police, particularly for transgender and queer people of color, for Black people, for Indigenous people…Violence is a learned behavior. That lesson comes back into your homes, back into your communities…If we really want to end intimate violence, ultimately we have to end white supremacy, and that burden is also on our white allies to help us undo this very violent system that we’re all living within and in which people of color are suffering the most.
As a coalition dedicated to working alongside domestic violence survivors and the agencies across WI that serve them, End Abuse denounces both of these acts for what they are: attacks from a system rooted in white supremacy against those it has pushed to the margins, Black people, Indigenous people, Immigrants, and People of Color. We will continue to ensure they are lifted up, as we challenge our own history and patterns of complicity with oppressive systems, and collaborate to co-create a world free of violence that centers those most impacted by it.
In this new year, which in its first weeks has already borne witness to continued violence and new possibility, our work continues. #BlackLivesMatter
End Abuse stands with other organizations around the state and country responding to the lack of charges in the shooting of Jacob Blake. A sampling of these can be found here: