Statement of the Lansdowne Democratic Committee on the Black Lives Matter movement

The Lansdowne Democratic Committee condemns the vicious murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor as both real and symbolic examples of the historic and ongoing violence and abuse on the part of police officers against countless named and unnamed Black men and women in our communities. For too long Americans, have turned a blind eye or made excuses for our own complicity in institutionalized and systemic racism which has led, at its worst to the acceptance of routine murder of our fellow Americans. We have failed to hold ourselves and our law enforcement community and other institutions to the highest standards required by one of our core ideal American values: equality and justice before the law.

We also stand in solidarity with protesters everywhere and condemn the illegal and immoral violence that has been perpetrated against the Black Lives Matter protesters by members of law enforcement and those who command them. Such violence clearly illustrates and reinforces what people of color and other marginalized communities have experienced all along. Whether in their own homes and communities or standing up for civil rights under the protection of the 1st Amendment, all people have the right to feel protected by the police and not punished or brutalized by them.

It is right and just to stand against these things wherever we are. Social upheaval and conflict is often a necessary precursor to real, lasting change. It is meant to provoke us to be self-reflective, to add our own voices to support our fellow citizens and to help shape and direct the changes we wish to see in our institutions.

When examining police practices, we should expect no less than the highest standards of law enforcement and community-supportive policing. Where the police fail to meet those standards, they should be held responsible and liable. Where they live up to their mission to serve and protect, their service should be acknowledged.

We are being called to completely re-imagine some institutions that we are accustomed to in order to becoming an inclusive, just and safe society for all our citizens. We don’t know what that future will look like, but as Democrats, our goal is to work to elect representatives at the local, county, state and federal levels who are willing to examine, confront and change the status quo. We are grateful for those who are committed to do the hard work, the messy work, and the important work of creating a democracy that values the lives of each and every one of us. Let us join with them.