SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Amid Saturday’s protesting in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah’s ethnic and racial minority legislators issued the following statement addressing systemic racism and the recent civil unrest.
This caucus includes Representatives Sandra Hollins, Angela Romero, Karen Kwan, and Mark Wheatley, and Senators Luz Escamilla and Jani Iwamoto.
“This pandemic has exposed injustices. We have been working for decades to fight systemic racism. We are not backing down.
The unrest and anger we are witnessing in American cities – and in Utah – are symptoms of pervasive systemic racism across our country. The racist acts we have witnessed in recent weeks from cell phone videos are not necessarily new, they are recordings of a wider, chronic societal problem.
People are worn down. This pandemic has people physically and economically exhausted. They are outraged by the lingering injustice of another African-American man needlessly killed by police. We understand that people want to be heard.
As legislators, we encourage people who choose to protest to stay safe, respect property, and respect social distancing.
We will continue pressing for reforms to our criminal justice system, de-escalation training for law enforcement, and more accountability and transparency from law enforcement and government officials. We are also working hard to address the continuing inequities experienced by communities of color during this pandemic.
Now is a time for civility, kindness, and empathy. Martin Luther King Jr. said, ‘Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.’”