June 2020 – Racism Unveiled
Over each of the past four workdays, BCIL presented comments from a member of our organization to give strong perspective on why the nation has to act upon the intense racism that has plagued America for over 400 years. Below, all together, are the remarks. We thank Rich Smith, Sharon King, Elaine Hamilton, and Gerson Silva for sharing personal experiences and observations, ones mixed with pain and a deep commitment to justice that compel us to fight racial oppression with energy and commitment.
Throughout the summer we will be sharing more on anti-racism—it is fundamental to, and inseparable from, BCIL’s disability rights advocacy and services.
Rich Smith, BCIL board member
In response to comments to a white friend who reached out: Last summer’s grand jury duty I served on was an eye opener. What struck me most wasn’t just the ten or so truly heinous crimes that would haunt all of us. Or that I was one of six minorities on a 25-person jury and the only African American. Or that every officer in Boston out of the academy learns policing in Roxbury. What has left me devastated, angry, and alone is that 73 of 75 cases were black or brown people…click here for the rest of the profile.
Sharon King, BCIL Community Outreach and Advocacy Specialist
It’s a story you see monthly but I see daily; another Black life lost. Another Black life disregarded. These discarded Black lives are not new. Our ancestors survived slavery just to be tortured by laws, practices, and policies put forth for no other reason than to ensure that everything they had they could not keep. This is a trend that has repeated itself for over a century…click here for the rest of the profile.
Elaine Hamilton, BCIL Board Member
Comments on Racism and Civil Rights: I am a member of Black Lives Matter, and will be until white privileged people stop wanting us to be quiet or have peaceful protests after the murder of my people by white police officers. You’re worried about Target, damn it, we are the targets! We are sick and tired of being sick and tired. This has been happening to us for centuries…click here for the rest of the profile
Gerson Silva, BCIL Disability Advocate / Bilingual
My experiences with racism are many. In fact, I’ve lost count. In 2007, I was living in Sunderland, Massachusetts. At that time I attended Greenfield Community College and worked the 2nd shift at C&S in wholesale. It was a normal Saturday and I had the day off. I was in my bedroom relaxing and watching a film with headphones on and laptop on my lap. I was not aware that the police came into the apartment…click here for the rest of the profile