For George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Sean Reed and Ahmaud Arbery
We are collectively in a moment of trauma, but the deeper trauma has been and is experienced by the minds, bodies, and spirits of the Black members of our family. Those of us who are not Black may only now be facing a glimpse of the depth of this stress, pain, anxiety, exhaustion and anger as we live under the ominous daily whirr of helicopters and can’t ignore the uprising in the streets.
As artists and community members we are furious as we witness the NYPD unleash violence on protestors, however we are not surprised. The NYPD have killed 21 people since the murder of Eric Garner in 2014, and still the plea of “I can’t breathe” is being ignored. This year, we are saying the names of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Sean Reed and Ahmaud Arbery, murdered at the hands of police in 2020.
The excessive use of force wielded in response to legitimate outrage is unacceptable. Protests should not be met with military aggression. The NYC budget will take deep cuts in 2021 due to the impact of COVID19, but the NYPD budget is largely being spared. This is unacceptable. We call on our elected officials to fund programs that uplift the health and wellbeing of our city, not further militarize an organization with its roots in slavery.
We recognize the need for deep systematic change, as we have witnessed – at different levels of subjectivity – the gaping inequities of our current society. We challenge each other to uproot within ourselves the embodied ways that racism, constructed to protect power, exists. We acknowledge that we individually enact patterns of inequity that cause harm, as no one is immune to the system of white supremacy under which we live.
In the words of author Ijeoma Oluo, “the beauty of anti-racism is that you don’t have to pretend to be free of racism to be an anti-racist. Anti-racism is the commitment to fight racism wherever you find it, including in yourself. And it’s the only way forward.”
We remember that New York City sits on occupied Lenape land, that the United States was founded on genocide, built on treating human bodies as disposable, and grown though exploiting our family of plants, animals, water and air.
As Flux Factory artists and community, we commit to doing the difficult work of looking within, shifting our habits, supporting each other to hold our leaders accountable, and creating an equitable society that honors and celebrates Black life, Black brilliance and Black futures.
Consider taking some of the actions listed below, and if you are white or a non-Black person of color, please commit with us to doing the necessary internal work, educate yourself, and find ways that you can uplift our Black family.
Written by Flux Factory Administration, with support from a number of Resident Artists and Board Members