Dear Arlington friends and neighbors,
The Arlington Human Rights Commission stands with the NAACP, ACLU Massachusetts, state and town officials in condemning police brutality and institutional and structural racism that has led to the unrest and pain felt by communities of color. We further support the pending House resolution introduced by Congresswomen Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) and Ilhan Omar (MN-05), and cosponsored by Katherine Clark (MA-05), condemning police brutality, racial profiling, and the excessive use of force.
We echo the words of Carol Rose, executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts who stated, “Black people should not have to live in fear of being killed by police, yet the recent killings of George Floyd and others show how little our government has done to prevent officers from taking Black lives. This resolution reflects the dire need for drastic and swift policy change."
Arlington has its own struggles to face, but as noted in the town statement on May 29th, Police Chief Flaherty, the Arlington Police Department and town leaders are working to address systemic racism. The AHRC supports these efforts, and continues to work with APD to improve human rights conditions in our town. This is not a challenge Arlington faces alone; communities across the country are struggling just as we do. We do the work because we know it must be done to create a more just and equitable society.
Prince Hall, a African American abolitionist and the namesake for the only Black Masonic Cemetery in the United States, located right here in Arlington, said during a 1797 address at Menotomy “give the right hand of affection and fellowship to whom it justly belongs; let their colour and complexion be what it will, let their nation be what it may, for they are your brethren, and it is your indispensable duty so to do.”
We ask you to support family, friends, and neighbors who may be struggling at this time, including children, who are often deeply impacted by events like those in Minneapolis. We ask that you read the pending resolution and contact Congresswoman Clark to let her know of your support.
Arlington values equity, diversity, and inclusion. We are committed to building a community where everyone is heard, respected, and protected.
ACLU Statement of Support:
Pending House Resolution by Congresswomen Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) and Ilhan Omar (MN-05):
Town of Arlington Statement:
Contact Congresswoman Katherine Clark: https://katherineclark.house.gov/index.cfm/offices
By Mail: 27 Maple Street
Arlington, MA 02476