By California Legislative Black Caucus
The California Legislative Black Caucus (CLBC) had sobering words for Californians during its press conference Tuesday, June 2, in Sacramento. They convened the event in response to the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.
The tone was set by Assemblymember Shirley N. Weber, Ph.D. (D-San Diego), Chair of the CLBC, who offered a reminder that American society has not really addressed the fundamental injustices committed against Black men, women and children.
“The issue we face in this country is the direct result of the enslavement, the continued mistreatment, the lynching and the attempts at genocide of Blacks,” Weber said. “This country has taught itself to hate African Americans. The death of George Floyd is a brutal illustration that we have not come to terms with that.”
Weber noted that focus on injustice is actually short-lived.
“There have been repeated uprisings — each as a result of the police brutality over the years — but that the outrage at the brutality of the taking of an innocent life is soon drowned out by outrage over the destruction of property,” Weber said. “Nobody condones looting or rioting. But what is often lost is that a Black man is dead, and we have not addressed how to stop that from happening.
“Our job as Black lawmakers is to be vigilant and persistent,” she said.
In recent years, the CLBC has been forceful in addressing these issues through legislation, including AB 392, which restricted law enforcement’s use of deadly force.
This year, the Caucus introduced an ambitious slate of legislation to address some of the issues that face African Americans, including reinstating Affirmative Action, eliminating debilitating court fees, increasing accountability for educational funds aimed at closing the achievement gap, establishing a commission to justify reparations and affirming a right for housing for women and children in California. You can find a full list of current CLBC legislation at https://blackcaucus.legislature.ca.gov/content/legislative-package.