For Immediate Release
Sam Gerard, firstname.lastname@example.org, 334-782-9960
(Washington, DC, June 1, 2020) – Today, the American Humanist Association Board of Directors issued a statement calling upon all humanists and all Americans to stand up against the systemic racism and injustice that has enabled police brutality against Black people across the country.
“Widely documented physical attacks by police during the last few days on journalists covering the protests are yet another sign of the dangers that our democracy faces when leaders prioritize dividing Americans and consolidating their grip on power over safeguarding human rights,” the AHA Board of Directors said, in part, in their statement.
Over the weekend, demonstrators across the country rallied for justice and demonstrated their understandable outrage against the use of excessive force by police officers. In recent weeks police brutality has garnered renewed national attention—in cases like Ahmaud Arbery, killed in a Georgia on February 23, Breonna Taylor, killed in her home in Kentucky on March 13, and George Floyd, killed in Minnesota on May 25.
“Too many Americans are allowing ignorance and fear to guide their actions when it comes to racial injustice. Recent events and a careful review of our history demonstrates that we cannot bury our heads in the sand anymore,” AHA Executive Director Roy Speckhardt stated. “Now, more than ever, we owe it to George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the countless other victims of police brutality to hold the overt and covert systemic injustices accountable and prevent future tragedies from happening.”
Additionally, the AHA joined in solidarity with other social justice partners by signing onto a Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights letter on Monday calling on leaders in Congress to make structural reforms to police accountability, racial profiling, authorized use of force, data collection, and training. The LCCR letter asks House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to take decisive federal policy action to address systemic failings.
The AHA Board of Directors highlighted the need to address systemic racism in the conclusion of their statement: “Humanism and social justice go hand in hand. We call on all humanists and all Americans to do everything in their power to stand and fight the systemic racism in American society and the police brutality that is engendered by that systemic racism.”
Read the board’s statement in full here.
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The American Humanist Association (AHA) works to protect the rights of humanists, atheists, and other nontheistic Americans. The AHA advances the ethical and life-affirming worldview of humanism, which—without beliefs in gods or other supernatural forces—encourages individuals to live informed and meaningful lives that aspire to the greater good of humanity.