To reverence life is to reverence all human life, yet from the beginning of our country’s founding, America has failed to acknowledge the dignity of black lives. That remains true even today, 55 years after the Civil Rights Era, evident in the racial disparities we see throughout our systems of education, healthcare, and criminal justice, as well as our economic, housing, agriculture, environmental policies, and more. 

Today, we have protesters in the streets, a white supremacist at the highest level of government, and a coronavirus pandemic that is infecting Black and Latino people at 3 times the rate of white people. People of color have higher levels of unemployment, higher rates of infant and maternal mortality, higher rates of incarceration, higher rates of poverty, and lower rates of home ownership. African-American men have the lowest life expectancy in the country. 

It is long past time for America to reckon with its original sin and to end racism. 

As congresswoman, I would support federal policies that seek to end the deeply rooted racial inequities that hold us all back. I support H.R.7120, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020, which passed the House in June, endorsed by more than 100 civil rights groups. It is designed to increase accountability for law enforcement misconduct, enhance transparency and data collection, and eliminate discriminatory policing practices. In addition, I support H.R. 1, the For the People Act of 2019, and H.R.4, the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2019, both designed to protect the right to vote, and H.R. 40, the Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act. 

“Nobody’s free until everybody’s free,” Fannie Lou Hamer said. That’s why the work of ending racism in our systems, and in ourselves, is work to be done by—and for the benefit of—all of us.