Dear Shalom Bayit Community,
We stand in solidarity, outrage and mourning over the recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery and countless others z’’l. We condemn the deeply-rooted, socially sanctioned systemic hatred, objectification and violence that is perpetuating these racist acts.
As a domestic violence organization we are all-too-familiar with the use of violence against marginalized bodies to maintain structures of power and control. We know what it means to witness horrific acts of violence for which there are no consequences, no intervention, no protections. We understand the feelings of fear, helplessness and moral outrage.
George Floyd died by strangulation -- a tactic commonly used as an ultimate form of power and control in a majority of abusive relationships.
We are fighting for very basic rights here. For human dignity. For the right to not live in fear for your life. For the right to be able to go to the grocery store, the park, a neighborhood jog, a car ride, or even to sleep in your own bed without being assaulted or murdered.
Black and brown people in this country do not have that freedom.
As an anti-violence organization Shalom Bayit strives to combat societal systems that allow one group’s domination at the expense of another group’s suffering. We urge the Jewish community, especially those of us with white privilege, to commit to working for that systemic change. Accountability is the responsibility of the entire community. Communal silence and inaction allow perpetrators to – quite literally – get away with murder.
We will stand tall and fight fiercely for justice, for an end to oppressive systems that perpetuate violence and greed, for everyone’s right to live with dignity and safety. We will fight for racial justice because it is part of everyone’s liberation and the just world that our Jewish values drive us to pursue. Racism is part of the same broken system as gender-based violence: one that elevates some at the expense of others, whether by race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, class, or other identifiers of privilege and social status.
We at Shalom Bayit believe in building a world where all people are treated with dignity and respect, where power is used responsibly and for the good, and where violence is not tolerated. May we all rise together now, not waiting another moment to help make that vision of peace a reality for us all.