WV United Caucus Statement Against Racism
The West Virginia United Caucus stands in solidarity with Black Americans and People of Color everywhere and condemns all forms of racism, complicity, intolerance, and police brutality. We believe that an “injury to one is an injury to all,” and as educators, we have a moral obligation to fight injustice, intolerance, and racism and to be advocates for our students, communities, and state.
The deaths of George Floyd in Minnesota, Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, Tony McDade in Florida, and Breonna Taylor in Kentucky are the results of a long-standing history of white supremacy and a colonialist mindset that sees black and brown bodies as disposable. Speaking truth to power means directly confronting the legacy of racism that exists today. Educators have a moral obligation to speak out against such oppression wherever we see it. To do otherwise violates our code of conduct to serve every student equally.
Our caucus is committed to supporting anti-racist educational practices and policies in addition to dismantling white supremacy. We strive to not only be vocal advocates and allies, but ardent listeners. People of color deserve our unyielding ear to better understand their fight to not only survive, but to thrive.
It is imperative that we embody the truest form of solidarity unionism in all we do. We must recognize that systematic racism exists in all facets of our society and we must be continually vigilant and aggressive in our efforts to change the unjust cultural norm. This includes teaching socially-relevant information, recognizing the power dynamics of a predominantly white teaching force in a multi-racial learning environment-including the disproportionate number of black and brown student suspensions, challenging systems that disproportionately impact our students of color, and giving voice to the most marginalized among us.
The West Virginia United Caucus believes that Black Lives Matter, and in the words of Mother Jones, we plan to continue to “pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living.”