President & Co-Founder
On the murder of George Floyd and the crisis engulfing our nation
A Statement from The Democracy Collaborative
June 3, 2020
As agonized protests erupt across the nation, we stand in solidarity with all those speaking out against the state killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. He is yet another Black man dead, murdered casually by the police, prey to a system founded upon and maintained by racialized violence and the ideology of white supremacy. We add our voices to the growing chorus of those insisting that without justice there can be no peace.
In these days of rage and pain, of fear and grief, we tremble as we stand at the brink, looking into the dangerous and uncertain prospects ahead. A version of the future we have long feared is upon us. The fire next time is now.
It is both enraging and exhausting to find ourselves here, still—in America, in 2020. All the more difficult that this horror is unfolding in the midst of a deadly global pandemic, one whose toll has fallen most heavily on those whose lives are valued the least. We are shocked, but we cannot say that we are surprised. As the suffering of those trapped in poverty continually grows, it is increasingly evident that the system of corporate capitalism is designed to deliver the results we are seeing, prosperity for the few at the expense of the many. This is the system’s nature: birthed in genocidal theft, built by slave labor, maintained by exploitation, and dependent for its survival upon an insatiable appetite for limitless extraction—from our communities, from our bodies, from nature itself. This is a vampire system, fed by blood—and, in particular, by the blood of Black people.
That this system would one day crack beneath the weight of its own injustice and unsustainability is something many have long foreseen. Yet it’s one thing to have known, intellectually, that days like these were coming. It is quite another to live through them.
It shames us to know that we are a part of this system. It shames us to see Minneapolis, Atlanta, Washington burn. It shames us to know that white supremacy is pervasive at every level and that we ourselves have not done enough to root it out. But it also causes us to redouble our commitment to the fundamental belief that motivates our efforts and drives our organization—that we must bring about deep systemic change.
This system is a violent, racist, murderous system. As such, it must be replaced, from top to bottom, with a better one—a system based on real democracy, equality, justice, fairness, and peace. Only then will we build true community in our nation. We grow ever more determined to join with others to address racial inequity and economic inequality, working in solidarity to help usher in the next system our country so desperately needs.
For The Democracy Collaborative by the Co-Founders and Executive Team
Ted Howard, Gar Alperovitz, Marjorie Kelly, Ronnie Galvin, Joe Guinan, Jessica Rose