Tennessee Democratic Party Staff members issued the following letter written by Julio Salazar.

‘I will never understand’ is not enough.

We must gain understanding of systemic racism and the power structures that exist in this country – the same systemic racism and power structures that continue to destroy and take the lives of unarmed innocent Black people. By learning more, we gain the understanding necessary to fight these injustices.

‘I see you” is not enough.

Passive “bystanderism” is costly and deadly to those who need active help. Rather than just seeing need, we must step in and meet it head on. We can do this by protesting, actively engaging, marching, and speaking up, calling out racism whenever we see it. Standing with the Black community does more than just seeing it. 

‘All Lives Matter’ is not enough.

It is impossible for all lives to matter until Black Lives Matter. These are the lives that are lost daily in a manner no others are. This is the moment we are facing. We must confront this truth if we are ever to save those Black lives. 

Promoting patience is not enough.

Justice delayed is justice denied. The Black community has waited far too long for justice, and we must meet that demand now. This is a time for action, not patience. 

Saying their names is not enough.

We cannot just say the names of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Daniel Hambirck and the countless others and call it activism. We must condemn their deaths, honor their memory, and uphold their fight by making sure no more names are added to the list of Black people murdered by police violence.

Boycotting businesses that stay quiet is not enough.

Shop, dine, and support Black business and restaurants. Many Black owned businesses suffer from gentrification and large corporations driving them out or taking their business. Find them in your city, take your friends, be a regular. 

Social Media activism is not enough.

To cause change, we must empower our citizens with  their fundamental  rights. We must make sure that their vote is protected and that they are protected when they vote with access to absentee voting, abolishing all Voter ID laws, identifying and ending modern day voter suppression, and ensuring all Tennesseans have access to their polling locations during early vote and on Election Day, despite job schedules. 

Anti-Trump sentiment is not enough. 

Leadership matters. Governing matters. Donate, organize, volunteer, and elect candidates who are committed to fighting  injustices with meaningful legislation and undoing harmful legislation. Run for office when no candidate is promising these changes. Uplift and encourage Black and other candidates of color to represent districts that have no representation of minority populations. Call your local officials and demand change in your cities, counties, and state. 

Enough is enough. 

The Tennessee Democratic Party  stands with all organizations and people who seek to dismantle the racist systems that destroy too many lives. If any Tennessean wants to stand with us but does not know where to begin, find the black (or other minority-led) organization(s) in your community who are on the ground organizing and taking action on issues of racism, inequality, and injustice. Find the leaders of these organizations and then allow them to tell you what they need you to do to help. Then listen.

Tennessee Democratic Party

Julio Salazar, Mary Mancini, Maria Brewer, Kris Murphy, Evan Latt, Sandra Sepulveda, Emily Cupples