As a country we are bearing witness to a large and overdue response to America’s deep-seated, ongoing systemic racism, police brutality, and overt oppression of Black people. This oppression is rooted in the foundation of American society, politics, systems, and culture. For centuries Black Americans have lived in rightful fear in a country dedicated to upholding power and privilege held by white people.
The National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life (NCALL) vehemently condemns the targeted and racist actions taken by police against Black people throughout the nation. We stand in solidarity with the family, friends, and communities of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Abery, Sandra Bland, Kayla Moore, Tamir Rice, Muhlaysia Booker, Eric Garner, and all those who are standing up against police violence and the racist carceral systems across the United States.
The anti-violence, gender-based violence, and elder abuse fields are not immune to working within and enabling systems of oppression. Black Americans are being repeatedly murdered, harassed, disenfranchised, and dehumanized by systems designed to yield justice and create space for healing. Older Black survivors have lived through decades of chronic trauma from racism, oppression, and violence, often at the hands of these very systems. The time is long overdue for change.
We at NCALL recognize that the United States of America is a racist nation founded on exploitation, injustice, and violence. We are committed to dismantling systems of oppression within our own organization, supporting the field of abuse in later life to do the same, and working in solidarity with organizations engaged in anti-racist transformational action.
As a nation we must do better. As advocates for older survivors of abuse, we must do better. We will never see peace unless we have justice. And while our system continues to oppress Black and Brown people, we will never have justice. We must stand against and address the root cause of violence. In the words of Fannie Lou Hamer, “Nobody’s free until everybody’s free.”
We grieve with you, we see your pain, we are here with you, and we will act with you. Black Lives Matter.