“I’ve been called the n-word before…But I’ve never been told to get lynched…”
The Rhode Island Democratic Women’s Caucus condemns the recent racist attack on RIDWC member and candidate for Senate District 29, Jennifer Rourke.
During a virtual town hall event held on May 27th, Ms Rourke became the target of anonymous online bullies who crashed her virtual event with disturbing racist commentary and targeted threats on her safety and well being.
Just this week, the public was made witness to two alarming and tragic incidents bringing to the fore, once again, the systemic issue of racism. We saw a white woman weaponizing police brutality so that she could walk her dog off leash. We also witnessed the chillingly stark incident where police murdered a black man in their custody.
These incidents of racism are not new. Rather, it is access to technology that easily records these events which affords the public to witness what’s been endured by people of color for far too long. While some Americans are, for the first time, bearing witness to the consequences of systemic racism, people of color have suffered them for hundreds of years.
With these disturbing incidents fresh on our minds, the racist attacks on Ms Rourke are made all the more troubling. These were not strangers playing a prank, but followers of her campaign who deliberately sought to harass, humiliate, and intimidate a political candidate who is a woman of color.
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We must do more than condemn these attacks. We must invest in a future where people of color can bird-watch unafraid, jog through their neighborhoods without fear of being gunned down by white neighbors who presume the worst and act with violence, and run for office without being harassed. We need to create a future where police brutality is nothing but a dark mark on the torrid history of racism in the United States.
The RIDWC is committed to leveraging the voices of women of color and electing them to office. Electing people like Ms Rourke and using our privilege to amplify her work is the only way to truly address systemic racism. We encourage all our members, and all others who are outraged by these recent events to invest in campaigns like those of Ms Rourke.
Contributions to Jennifer Rourke’s campaign can be made at: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/friends-of-jennifer-rourke-2