Saturday, November 28, 2015

Minnesota Nurses Association Demand Respect for BLM Protesters and Resolution to Investigation
A statement from MNA President Linda Hamilton:

The Minnesota Nurses Association supports members of the Black Lives Matter movement and their peaceful demonstration of grievances to protest the very real and harmful inequities that continue to be imposed on people of color.  Nurses everywhere see how racism results in reduced access to healthcare, poorer health, and threats to basic safety.  We urge all departments of the City of Minneapolis to work together to swiftly conclude the investigation behind the death of Jamar Clark and the shootings of BLM protesters to restore calm to the community.

Nurses condemn the systemic racism that continues to stain our society as a whole.  People of color continue to experience assaults and questionable deaths at the hands of law enforcement - more than 500 just this year, according to the Washington Post.  African-Americans and Latinos make up 58 percent of the US prisoners despite being only 25 percent of the nation's population.  Americans of color make less money, have less access to healthcare, and have lower life expectancies.  In a nation as rich as ours, this is intolerable and shameful.

BLM protesters were exercising their rights to peacefully demonstrate against the treatment they've suffered, which have been crystallized in north Minneapolis.  Law enforcement officers' policies and actions toward people of color continues to be scrutinized and rightfully so.  If there is any government action that deserves to be analyzed, it is how those with power treat those without.

Peaceful protests lead to peaceful changes.  This is the legacy of America.  We should be proud to participate as we create an  environment for our leaders, peace officers, and citizens to speak. Only through dialogue can we defeat the disease that is racism.  To know each other is the best way to end fear and anger.  People of color are standing up because they deserve an equal chance at the American promise.  If racism denies them of this right, we fear we will see more violence.

The racism became all too real for MNA nurses who cared for and treated BLM protesters who were shot by hate-fueled inciters of violence.  Nurses demand all those connected with this shooting be brought to justice.  We also urge a full and complete investigation into Clark's apprehension and death not just for the sake of this young man's family but to bring peace back to this community of white, black, and all colors. We must all work together to end structural racism that continues to divide our society and worsens the quality of life for all of us.

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