El Paso — In response to the murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis Police Department, J.J. Martinez, President of the El Paso Young Democrats, offered the following statement:
“In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, there are two facts we must once again acknowledge. First, that racism is embedded in the American culture and it did not end with the 13 Amendment, the passage of the Civil Rights Act, or the election of Barack Obama. And second, that the policing systems in our cities are racist, stemming from years of continued oppression and cruelty towards Americans who aren’t white.
“El Pasoans are often shielded from having to endure the consequences of these two facts directly. Our city prides itself in its diversity and, to many, what happened in Minneapolis could never happen here. The simple reality, however, is that it happens here. It happens across our state. It happens across our nation. Whether it’s reported on national television or not, racism lurks in every corner, down every street, and in every legislature, and the actions of police departments in every city are more often than not left unchecked, without consequence.
“To acknowledge this reality is the most basic beginning to change, yet too many refuse to do so. It is incumbent on all of us to demand justice — that all four officers be charged for murder — but also, as young people, to work to rid our culture of this inherent evil. True justice for George Floyd is necessary, but we must ensure that no Black or Brown American lives in fear of being murdered at the hands of supposed public servants. That requires systemic changes never before seen in the American political system, yes, but it also requires that each of us be unafraid to stand up, speak out, and fight back against racism and all those who cling to its abhorrent mantle.”
“I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” (Elie Wisel, Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech, 1986)
The El Paso Young Democrats are the official chapter of the Texas Young Democrats — one of the largest partisan youth organizations in the nation — in the Borderland. As the official voice of young Democrats in El Paso County, the organization strives to empower young El Pasoans through community activism and policy involvement locally, statewide, and nationally.