June 2, 2020
The Social Justice and Health Disparities Caucus of MLA expresses our collective horror at the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis. Police violence toward Black Americans is one of the many detrimental health disparities our caucus organizes to address. We stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, protesters throughout the United States, and their actions against state-sanctioned violence toward Black Americans and other communities of color. We offer our support as a caucus to the African American Medical Librarians Alliance (AAMLA) Caucus and colleagues whose communities are affected by police violence and those who organize against this. AAMLA has released an official statement on events of police brutality.
We recognize our caucus operates both within and in opposition to a racist system. We encourage all members of MLA to take action, to contact government representatives, and for white and non-Black people of color (POC) members to actively educate themselves on racism and health disparities, and how to be an anti-racist. In the words of Ibram X. Kendi,
The opposite of racist isn’t “not racist.” It is “anti-racist.” What’s the difference? One either endorses the idea of a racial hierarchy as a racist, or racial equality as an anti-racist. One either believes problems are rooted in groups of people, as a racist, or locates the roots of problems in power and policies, as an anti-racist. One either allows racial inequities to persevere, as a racist, or confronts racial inequities, as an anti-racist. There is no in-between safe space of “not racist.”
There are many education resources available, and we suggest Boston Public Library’s Race, Social Justice, and Civil Rights Research Guide as a potential starting point.
Social Justice and Health Disparities Caucus