No Food Justice without Racial Justice

Fair World Project condemns racist acts and police brutality. We stand in solidarity with all those who call for justice. We state unequivocally that Black Lives Matter.

Last Monday, George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, was killed by a white Minneapolis police officer who put a knee to his neck for over eight minutes as three fellow officers stood by, ignoring Floyd’s pleas for help. A few weeks before that, the story of Ahmaud Arbery got national attention: out for his morning jog, Arbery was shot to death by two white men, a former police officer and his son. Then the story of Breonna Taylor, killed by police barging into her home and shooting her while she slept.  And the story of Tony McCade, a Black transgender man shot by the police in Tallahassee, Florida.

These deaths are just the most recent. There is a long, long history of violence against Black people in the U.S., violence that is now being videoed and replayed so that all people bear witness. These deaths are not an anomaly. Black men are 3 times more likely to be killed by the police than white men Black men are 3 times more likely to be killed by the police than white men.

These deaths are occurring in the midst of a pandemic that has disproportionately impacted communities of color, with Black people again the hardest hit, dying at almost three times the rate of white people. These statistics illustrate the impacts of long-standing, institutionalized racism within our society.

The disproportionate force and militarization of police that we see all over the news right now has for too long been a reality in too many communities across the country. The past few weeks have shown examples of this double standard and how it plays out every day. White demonstrators calling for an end to public health measures such as stay-at-home orders during the pandemic were handled gently by police despite being heavily armed. The power dynamics of white privilege and anti-Blackness play out every day in our communities. Whether or not we see them often depends on our own place on the spectrum of privilege.

Fair World Project stands with all those who call for justice. And we recognize that the problem we collectively face is more than just a few bad apples. Our global food and farming systems are built upon centuries of exploitation of Black labor and Black lives. The ways we grow and trade our food are shaped by centuries of slavery and colonization. We also recognize the skill, knowledge, and experience that Black people have contributed to the ways we grow and prepare food. There can be no food justice, no fair trade without racial justice.

We say Black Lives Matter because our plantation farm system is built on the premise that they don’t. We say Black Lives Matter because our jobs are built upon a minimum wage system that is built on the premise that they don’t. We say Black Lives Matter because our law enforcement acts like they don’t.

We support all those who march and who call for justice for George Floyd, and for all who have been killed and harmed by the systems we live within, systems of white supremacy.

Only when there is justice for those most marginalized can we truly have the just economy and the fair food system we work for every day.

The Movement for Black Lives is calling on us all to make this week, June 1-5, a week of action In Defense of Black Lives. In their words, “This is an opportunity to uplift and fight alongside those turning up in the streets and on the airwaves.”

In solidarity for a more just world,

The Fair World Project Team.

 

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