Letter to the editor: I don’t believe we have liberty and justice for all | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: I don’t believe we have liberty and justice for all

Priya Subberwal

Garnett Payne writes that the Black Lives Mater movement has been hijacked; that it is inspired by Hitler, Stalin and Lenin; and that we have lost sight of what it means to be a republic, to be one nation under God, and to be indivisible with liberty and justice for all. She believes crime and dependency in the Black community are inherent traits, not the result of centuries of systemic racism.

I disagree with her. I don’t believe America is only one nation. We are many, and to believe otherwise is to neglect the Indigenous, immigrant and interlocking ideas of nationhood that don’t fit easily into the colonial, settler-imperialist narrative. I don’t believe we have liberty and justice for all. I believe we have an outdated justice system that works to preserve racist institutions that allow our economy to flourish on the backs of poor Black and brown people. Can we call ourselves a free nation when children are in cages, Black people are murdered in the streets and in their own homes by the people who are supposed to protect us, and our president is attempting to launch a culture war in the midst of a pandemic? And I certainly don’t believe we are indivisible. How can we be, when some Americans are at higher risks to be murdered, get COVID-19 and experience more harshly the rising tides of climate change? This is the direct result of systemic racism.

Payne, and many white Americans like her (and myself) are being forced to reckon with their role in systemic racism in America. We have an opportunity to stand in solidarity with our Black, Indigenous and people of color brothers and sisters as they advocate for justice. For me, a white-passing woman, that means listening and learning, not criticizing and dividing.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us keep our communities informed. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.

Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.