The Grenada Association of Professional Social Workers wishes to affirm its support of the global movement, Black Lives Matter. In particularly those in the US who continue to endure oppression and racism by the very institution created to protect and serve the public.
We are extremely disheartened and outraged by the actions of a group of people who believe that their skin colour makes them more superior to that of black people and therefore, have a right to treat them as lesser human beings. The recent unspeakable murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery unequivocally demonstrate this reality; black people lack privilege and power.
The murder of George Floyd is another form of lynching, which was widespread in the Southern States of America in the 19th and 20th century, the murdering of black people without repercussions. Racism was defined many decades ago as discrimination plus power to act on that discrimination, the behaviour of these police officers and many more before this incident, highlights their views. They use their power to enact their need to discriminate against an entire race of people with impunity and it has taken the lives of too many black people to date.
As a profession whose work is grounded in the values of social justice, integrity and dignity and worth of a person, we strongly denounce the attitudes and beliefs that perpetuate racism. We will continue to advocate for changes in value systems that deny people fair and equitable treatment and infringe on their human rights. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims of these heinous acts and with those who continue to be systematically oppressed by virtue of their skin colour. Martin Luther King, Jr said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
Therefore, let us continue to join together with our sisters and brothers in the United States but also ensure that we work towards eradicating classist systems which creates unhealthy divisions in our own society.
We all need to stand in solidarity and challenge racism whenever and wherever we meet it.
Grenada Association of Professional Social Workers (GAPSW)