To our neighbors on the West Side,
When our communities are threatened, we can’t remain silent. It has been a week since the attack on the Capitol in Washington, D.C. by white nationalist mobs and militias. Days before, right here on the West Side, Representative Carlos Mariani’s home was surrounded by a large group of armed white people with Trump flags (pictured here).* As hate-fueled groups continue to target communities of color, and as law enforcement fails to serve and protect all of us equally,** we have a message for our neighbors: we’ve got each other.
In the coming months, there will be calls for more funds for law enforcement, more laws to restrict free speech and silence dissent; this is not the answer. We know from experience that increased policing inevitably leads to increased harm to our communities. As Audre Lorde tells us, “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.”
We must turn instead to the world we want to build. At WSCO, a core part of our mission is to advance justice and racial equity. This weekend, as armed white nationalist groups are coming to St. Paul to continue spreading their message of racism, violence, and fear, we invite you to join us in keeping each other safe by organizing for Community Care:
- Join our neighborhood Community Care action circle, and Connect with us in WSCO’s healing justice spaces, like the Men of Color Table. Email [email protected] for details.
- Stay informed and safe this weekend: check our blog for local updates.
Lastly, we call for investment in life affirming public safety, and the transfer of funds to social services like housing, healthcare, education, job creation, childcare and others that build a foundation for true safety. Together, we can build power and transform our community into a just and joyful place for all.
Wishing you a peaceful and safe weekend,
Monica Bravo, Executive Director, and Martin Hernandez, Board Chair, West Side Community Organization
* https://sahanjournal.com/extremism/extremism-minnesota-legislators-of-color/, and Photo: an armed white group gathered on the West Side on January 2nd, 2021 (source: imgur).