Black lives matter. As we witnessed the horrific murder of George Floyd and our nation's righteous outrage and sorrow, it's important to say this now and always without reservation or hesitation. Black lives matter. We need to say it, because in this time of pain and anguish, our neighbors, colleagues, patients, brothers, and sisters need to be heard. Black lives matter.
We also know that words are not enough. The United States has never truly reckoned with its 400 year history of racism and the racist systems that were built on slavery and the forceful takeover of native land. We see injustice today acutely through racist policing policies that disproportionately kill black men, women, and children and far too often fail to bring their families justice. Our history is also one of fighting for justice and that fight is not over.
As we confront the enormity of today’s challenges - a deadly pandemic, economic depression, and insecure housing on a massive scale - we must acknowledge that all of these issues are linked and exacerbated by systemic racism. Racism is a public health crisis, and nurses have always shown courage, conviction, and leadership in the midst of public health crises. From all of us at the National Nurse-Led Care Consortium, we stand with you.