City of
Madison

District 13

Alder Tag Evers

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Alder Tag Evers

Contact Information

Home Address:

2329 Keyes Ave
Madison , WI 53711

Council Office

Common Council Office:
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Room 417
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
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Alder Evers’ Blog

George Floyd and the Virus of Racism

May 29, 2020 5:13 PM

Like many of you, I've spent the last several days deeply, deeply saddened.

I need not go into details. You know why.

The question is how to respond.

There are many good books out there.  How To Be An Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi.  White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo.  

Not that reading a book is necessary or sufficient.

The work starts with realizing structural racism, and the white supremacy beliefs that undergird it, was built by white people for the benefit of white people and that this systematic injustice will not end until white people commit themselves to a revolution of spirit and purpose to eradicate it from our hearts, from our laws, and from our land.

Madison is not immune to the virus of racism.

Wisconsin is the worst state in the nation in terms of education gaps between white and black kids – and Madison is worse than the state average. 

Wisconsin is the worst state in the nation in terms of the rate of incarceration of young African-American males – and Madison is worse than the state average.

The use of redlining in our city's history carved out areas limiting where blacks would be allowed to live -- and to this day a legacy remains of a city deeply divided.

We are not one city, we are two.

The Madison that we think of, the Madison that gets recognized as a top ten city to raise kids, or to be LGBTQ, or one of the top ten cities most likely to rebound from the coronavirus, is universally regarded as an extremely difficult place to live if your skin is black.

These heinous, heart-breaking events are taking place during a pandemic that has disproportionately impacted black and brown bodies.

I came across this quote in the New York Times this morning:

"The coronavirus has scythed its way through black communities, highlighting and accelerating the ingrained social inequities that have made African-Americans the most vulnerable to the disease."

Some are given to rage and rioting, and I choose not judge the impulse of those for whom this collective pain, this bone-searing trauma, is too much to bear.

Instead, let us mourn with our black brothers and sisters and bear these burdens in solidarity. Sense the need to engage in deep soul-searching, to heed the call to collective repentance.

This past Sunday at a church service in McFarland I attended via Zoom, the Memorial Day sermon was not given in honor of lives lost on foreign battlefields, but rather to the lives lost on our domestic battlefields of racial violence.

The sermon came from Rev. Otis Moss III, the pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ, Obama's old church on the south side of Chicago, and was entitled "The Cross and the Lynching Tree: A Requiem for Ahmaud Arbery."  

It's a powerful message, one that we must let sink into the very marrow of who we are as a people, as a nation, as a city. I encourage you to take a few minutes to watch it.

I'll close by sharing a song I came across on YouTube called "Rose Petals."  May it touch your heart.

This is the time of the great reset. 

The antidote to the virus of racism is the love we have for each other, our commitment to social and economic justice.

Who are we to become? 

It starts with you. It starts with me.

Be safe. Be well. Be kind.

Tag




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