Tyre Nichols deserves to be here today. We must never forget his name or the names of countless others who were taken way too soon by a broken system. We must never forget the pain that this loss of life has caused us and our communities. We need to heed the calls of his mother and the hundreds of other mothers who have cried out against police brutality for decades. May their pain and their struggle remain on our minds as we continue the fight for change and accountability.
Our country’s criminal legal system was built on racialized brutality and yet calls for change are oftentimes silenced a few days, weeks or months after we witness the death of another Black or Brown person. This system was never designed to protect Black and Brown people.
Why would we want to uphold a system that perpetuates so much violence and pain? Why do we?
Instead of forgetting, let’s do the active work of remembering, engaging and envisioning. Let’s envision a world where police officers no longer exist, where young adults can live, thrive, imagine and create, and where families feel safe in their communities. A world where healed people heal others, and governments and systems are held accountable for the harm they cause. Accountability being where -not only individual officers- are punished, but where violence isn’t enabled, and action is takento makes amends to the communities they harmed the most.
These moments often make us remember how limited our lives and moments with loved ones can be. Let’s not make it one where we continue as is, let’s make it one that we create - together. Let’s do this for Tyre and so many others.