An open letter to the Orange County Legislature,
In a recently revised resolution, a document that was 3 pages long and 753 words, the Orange County Legislature thought it appropriate to change 191 of those words, approximately a quarter of the document.
What were the words that the legislature removed? Let’s review the changes.
The legislature struck the words “Black Lives Matter”
The legislature struck the words “Breonna Taylor”
The legislature struck the words “police officers”
The legislature stuck the words “commitment to ending police brutality and state-sanctioned violence and injustice against Black people.”
The legislature struck the words "dedicated to affirming Black people’s contributions to our society, our humanity, and resilience in the face of deadly oppression"
The legislature struck the words “leadership embraces is policy changes and legislation is necessary elements to and oppression of Black people.”
The legislature struck the words “institutional reforms to end systemic racism.”
The legislature struck the words “focusing on police brutality.”
The legislature struck the words “domestic policy reform.”
The legislature struck the words “economic justice and investment and equitable education and healthcare.”
You are cowards. It took zero courage to pass the resolution that you recently revised. The powerful words that you struck were replaced with empty words and broad phrases that already exist in various forms throughout the County government. And then the legislature has the audacity to quote Dr. Martin Luther King saying that an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, this revised resolution is an injustice.
This revised resolution says loud and clear that the legislature believes that Black lives DON’T matter, that Black women’s lives DON’T matter, that police lives matter more because the legislature does not have the courage to call them out and hold them accountable, that the oppression of Black people doesn’t matter, that the leadership is NOT committed to embracing policy changes, that the leadership is NOT committed to economic justice, that the leadership is NOT committed to investing in an equitable education and healthcare, that the leadership is NOT dedicated to reaffirming black peoples contributions to our society.
To quote Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. appropriately he said to “be true to what you said on paper”
The legislature can’t even put down on paper that Black Lives Matter. There are more Black and Brown people living in Orange County than there are police officers. Is the legislature afraid to affirm and put-on paper that Black Lives Matter? Is that something that the legislature believes that they can’t state? That they can’t uphold or they can’t work towards?
This resolution doesn’t bring equality to Orange County residents. The legislature removed the words that directly speak to the people, for the people and they were replaced with more palpable words by and for the White community. The legislature will not be remembered as one that worked to bring about equality, rather it will be viewed as a racist legislature who worked to continue to deny that Black lives matter and who continue to uphold a racist "national spirit".
The protesting will not stop, people will not stop asking for the legislature to acknowledge that their lives matter. We will put people up to run against those who do not have the courage to put on paper that Black Lives Matter.
You are cowards. Your words don’t matter. The first step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one. The Orange County Legislature is a problem.
Read the revised resolution here:
Sign the petition: https://www.change.org/p/orange-county-ny-legislature-republican-majority-community-demand-of-orange-county-ny-legislature-republican-majority-re-blm-resolution?recruiter=44628391&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=psf_combo_share_abi&utm_term=share_petition&recruited_by_id=b9cf92a0-730f-0130-d33e-3c764e04873b&utm_content=fht-27129654-en-us%3A6