Cassia Herron: In the wake of century-old violence, our task is to organize | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

Cassia Herron: In the wake of century-old violence, our task is to organize

What we saw last night in Louisville and what we’ve seen across the country is folks tired of being ignored. Police brutality and misconduct are a century-old issue that reflects our country’s grotesque and murderous beginnings. While these issues are pronounced in Black and urban communities, it’s true that we are all affected by a police state with few mechanisms for co-governance, accountability and justice. People are taking to the streets because racist ideologies that created police are the same that curd the very fabric of every American institution that exists and our current leaders are doing very little to change it. 

As KFTC members, our task is to do what we know best – and that's to organize.

Some reactions

"It is not a riot. It is a revolt against a system in which people have felt oppressed. What I'm seeing is people who are trying their best to do something with their hurt, their pain and their frustration." 

Keisah Dorsey, Louisville
Metro Council member

 "I agree that we need to keep our eyes on the prize, and do the electoral and policy work at hand.  That's what will turn around the brutal system that makes the most vulnerable communities the most at risk of police brutality."

Meta Mendel-Reyes, Berea

"I don't honestly know how we move forward, but white people have to be part of the solution. The root of this problem - racism - is so deep. As white people we need to recognize that. We need to see our own privilege, and we have to get better. We have to listen more. We have to see the ways people are hurting. And we have to heal."

Lisa Garrison, Corbin

"Racist terror is torture. But it won’t break down my hope. Our hope must be unbreakable like our resistance to racist power and policy. Our hope must be philosophical. To bring about antiracist change we must never stop believing in the possibility of antiracist change."

Ibram X. Kendi on Twitter

This year we have committed to two large pieces of work that reflect our commitment to radically changing business as usual. We have to remain diligent and focused on these goals. 

First, we have a commitment to voter engagement and the electoral process. We are engaging more Kentuckians in this year’s elections and supporting candidates who share our values, including Charles Booker and several local candidates. We’ve got to be vigilant in continuing that work. We have to show up as KFTC – as leaders – to make sure we’re electing the people who can help us create the Kentucky and country we want to see. 

We’ve also committed to centering racial equity and justice within our organization. This is work that started years ago and continues now as we incorporate a staff union, prepare for organizational change, and radically shift how we organize ourselves. As we reflect upon who we are and decide who we want to be, we must push each other and give ourselves grace as we ask others to do the same. We must be committed to this work as well.

We all have individual agency, and we must be vigilant in using it to call out injustice. There are a number of immediate actions we can take:

In solidarity,
Cassia Herron, KFTC Chairperson

Some media coverage and other reading