Phoenix – As the nation counts down to Super Bowl XLIX, Arizona’s Black community announces a new campaign incorporating the national theme “Black Lives Matter: Addressing The Violence Of Systemic Racism in America and Arizona.”
Black leaders and activists in Phoenix have organized to monitor and document police misconduct and brutality across the country as the nation continues its ‘business as usual’ attitude of distraction and sport.
As black men make up the vast majority of sportsmen in the game, Black communities throughout America suffer untold violence at the hands of aggressive police. This continued game of profiling black men for unjust arrest and imprisonment is a ‘business as usual’ conduct is something we will no longer tolerate say organizers.
“We are counting down to the Super Bowl, but who’s counting down to the next police killing? There are consequences… black lives matter,” says Cloves Campbell, a member of the campaign’s steering committee and chairman of the National Newspaper Publishers Association.
The call to action comes on the heels of a nationwide scourge of racially charged police killings, claiming the lives of mostly unarmed black men. Black civil rights organizations, faith groups, activists and businesses are ready for a sustained direct action campaign. The flurry of mega sporting events coming to Arizona can and will be disrupted unless the demands for equal justices are codified.
“We are challenging Arizona’s moral and social status quo. As long as the status quo allows others to perpetrate the violence of systemic racism on Black people, we will not be silent or immobile,” says committee member Rev. Jarrett Maupin.
Rev. Reginald Walton, committee chair and spokesman, says he hopes that last week’s press conference sheds light on the injustice of racial profiling, excessive force, and other civil rights issues that go unaddressed in the community.
“Black lives matter. As we count down to the Super Bowl we’re also counting down to the end of inequality, to the end of unequal protection under the law, to the end of two Americas and two standards of justice. We’re counting every minute of every day because the current climate of police brutality tells us that’s all Black people – particularly Black males, have. We are living minute to minute, we can’t breathe,” he says.
The campaign leaders’ ultimate goal – through these actions – is to bring about justice-centered solutions, healing, and reconciliation between people of every color. •