Rep. Ayanna Pressley says the American people must accept a new political reality: “Black Lives Matter is a mandate from the people.”
The Massachusetts Democrat told lawmakers that it’s time to “legislate accountability” in accordance with the wishes of Black Lives Matter activists and its supporters.
“We have been criminalized for the very way we show up in the world,” the congresswoman declared Thursday. “Under the harsh gaze of far too many, my Black body is seen as a threat, always considered armed.”
Ms. Pressley’s commentary continues calls for racial reforms, which began with the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis as he was pinned down by multiple police officers.
The Democrat touted the House-passed Justice in Policing Act as one step in dismantling “centuries of institutionalized oppression,” but warned that more work needs to be done.
“With the power of the pen we must legislate accountability, dismantle these systems, and move in the direction of justice and healing,” she said. “The Justice in Policing Act is a critical step forward, and I applaud the leadership of the Congressional Black Caucus. But our work is unfinished. There is a rallying cry in communities across the nation. Black Lives Matter is a mandate from the people. It’s time. Pay us what you owe us. Our black skin is not a crime, it is the beautiful robe of nation-builders.”
The congresswoman’s plea also follows a June 10 interview with comedian Samantha Bee in which she warned viewers that it is “not good enough” to reject racism in 2020.
“Everyone will say, ‘Well, you know, I’m not a racist,’” Ms. Pressley said on Ms. Bee’s “Full Frontal” show. “Yeah, great. That’s not good enough. What you need to be is anti-racist. And that means being intentional and deliberate and unapologetic and dismantling structural racism and systemic oppression, and not being afraid to call it what it is: White supremacy.”
“White women, be useful. Use that privilege for good,” Ms. Bee said during the interview.
“Yes, Karen. Come on, Becky,” Ms. Pressley replied.
Rep. Ayanna Pressley: “Black Lives Matter is a mandate from the people. It’s time — pay us what you owe us. Our Black skin is not a crime. It is the beautiful robe of nation-builders.” pic.twitter.com/48avufRaif
— The Hill (@thehill) June 26, 2020
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