Eric Ward on Racial Justice
As. Our nation continues to grapple with the best ways to make progress on critical issues of racial justice. We here at people of the pod felt that we needed to hear from Eric. Award Eric is the Executive Director of the Western states center a civil. Rights Organization based in the Pacific Northwest Mountain states he is also a national voice, racial justice and a leader in the black community speaking up urgently. Urgently for the need to fight antisemitism, which he identifies as a leading driver of other forms of Bigotry Eric thank you so much for joining us I'm so glad to be here with you. All thanks for inviting me now as someone on the front lines of the Civil Rights Movement today, the first thing I want to ask is how are you? How are you doing this really busy, really crazy time. I think like everyone else I'm exhausted. I'm carrying a lot of weight. A lot of responsibility I'm not alone in that we are moving fast soaks at the community level has really mobilized around civil rights, and you know it's a responsibility to support that leadership as much as possible I think I'm both nervous and. We are watching kind of in a way, the end of one age a period of time, and the beginning of another, and we're kind of in this inbetween points, and so it feels a little chaotic can. We don't know what's next I. Don't know about the rest of folks, but that brings anxiety to me, but also joy Reid I watch folks every day across communities across religions, really coming together, trying to find one another struggling with one another and I think that bodes well so mile this chapter. The book is not ending particularly well. I think it tells us the story fact will. Yeah. We're clearly in something of a moment. Right? Historically politically. We're in a moment and I guess the question for someone like you and for anyone who wants to kind of be a part of making this elastic changes. How can we take a moment and turn it into something that really changes our society, so you know at the macro level I like wow, you know we are actually finally poised to acknowledge that everyone in our society are fully actualize human beings. That may not seem like a really kind of radical thing, but it's taken a lot of centuries for us to get to this point and I'm actually really excited to be here, right? Having a strong democracy. Means having strong participation, that participation doesn't happen if we only consider part of our society as fully human so at the macro level. I feel like. Wow you know. We are getting close to getting this right. And after ten thousand years you know or forty thousand years I think we finally earned the right to that right, so I want to own that and I. Hope folks own map for a second, and if it makes you feel good, good I so now here's what we should do. Its APP, we should get serious about some very specific things so. Twentieth Century. Policing has come to an end. It is a system that no longer works for the inclusive democracy that we are, and it is time for a twenty first century version of it that is grounded in community, safety, right, and the prosperity of our community them I think that that is exciting and I think we should be encouraging those conversations. We should be continuing to encourage folks to be dialogue with one another I. An I'll just be playing, right? We can't be a society that seals. It is okay to shoot and kill unarmed. Black people in our society are quite frankly folks were unarmed and running away. It is just not becoming a democracy so i. you know I think policing as. As a policy conversation is a topic of the day it will be the topic of the year will be the topic of next year, and we should not allow the sacrifices of those at the community level been working on these issues over the last three weeks or the last three decades to go to waste right now. So that's one. The second is look. We have to get a hold of the mission oriented hate crimes, and what I mean by mission oriented I. Don't mean the average hate crime. We experienced. You know that the random hate crime those have to be tackled, too, but untuckit about this rise of mission oriented targeting of vulnerable communities and their institutions whether we're talking about Anti Semitism. Racism. Talking about the targeted Latinos in El Paso or the targeting of Jews in Pittsburgh at a targeting a blacks in Charleston seeks in Wisconsin. It is time for our government institutions just step up and protect its citizens and its residents and A. We don't need new laws to do that. We need to actually start using the laws that are on the books. We have to bring transparency to those who seek to try to destroy democracy by terrorizing folks in our community. Those are the two things we could be right on top of right now.