Viewpoints: More than 70 Milwaukee community leaders sound off on weekend protests, destruction in city

Last updated on June 4th, 2020 at 09:51 am

Editor’s note: This letter, endorsed by more than 70 Milwaukee community leaders, was sent to BizTimes Milwaukee Sunday evening by Elmer Moore Jr, executive director of Scale Up Milwaukee. On behalf of the group, he asked for the letter to be posted in its entirety, including the names of those who have signed it. Here it is:

The unrelenting pressure from structural and systemic racism is more than any person can be expected to endure. For a community, the consequences of oppression are corrosive, carcinogenic, and incendiary. The killing of George Floyd was the latest in a centuries-long history of our precious lives cut short. Across the nation, people have been pushed over the edge. Protests, public anger, and grief are the smoke, not the spark that led to the recent events.

Heinous and ongoing violence committed against our fathers and mothers, sons and daughters in the form of inadequate access to decent education, health care, work, and housing conflicts with our fundamental sense of humanity. This ethical contradiction cannot stand, and we will no longer endure it.

Just days ago, we launched “You Matter” as an affirmation to our community of their individual and collective value. You are important, you are loved, you matter. While this campaign was launched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s a message that transcends this virus.

As leaders of organizations that serve our communities, we are committed to attacking racism at the systems level. We’re prepared to do this both individually and collectively to ensure our loved ones the basic, inalienable rights, and protections they deserve. “You Matter” is just the start.

We must strongly condemn the actions of those co-opting the protests with destruction and violence. Their actions do not represent our demand for equity and opportunity. We are fighting for our lives, our health, and our prosperity because we matter. You matter.

Carl Wesley
Elmer Moore
Tammy Belton-Davis
Angela Adams
Margaret Arney
Marquette Baylor
Diane Beckley
Danielle Bly
David Bowles
Amanda Brooks
Nicole Brookshire
Sandye Brown
Valencia Brown
James Burnett
Equan Burrows
Robert Cherry
Venus Coates
Lafayette Crump
Frank Cumberbatch
Danae Davis
Mallory Davis
Dafi Dyer
Muhibb Dyer
Genyne Edwards
Noah Fenceroy
Deaduri Gales
Cecelia Gore
Damira Grady
Bria Grant
Dionne Grayson
Eve M. Hall
Kenneth Harris, Jr.
Derek Hawkins
Kalan Haywood Sr.
Ray Hill
Ashley Hines
George Hinton
Joe’Mar Hooper
Undraye Howard
Jeff Joerres
Shanee’ Jenkins
Clarence Johnson
Jasmine Johnson
Greer Jordan
Kimberly Kane
Ossie Kendrix
Maudwella Kirkendoll
Mabell Lamb
Greg Lewis
Sean Lowe
Vincent Lyles
Tim McMurtry
Jim Milner
Jeanette Mitchell
Anita Mogaka
Wanda Montgomery
Heidi Moore
Michael Morgan
Clint Myrick
Zacharia Nchinda
Cory Nettles
Devon Norwood
Joan Prince
Antonio R. Riley
Dominique Samari
Craig Sanders
Robert Smith
Julia Taylor
Kathy Thornton-Bias
Rodney Triggs
Greg Wesley
Kamilah Williams-Kemp
Dana World-Patterson
Lavelle Young

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Andrew Weiland
Andrew Weiland is the editor of BizTimes Milwaukee. He joined BizTimes in 2003, serving as managing editor and real estate reporter for 11 years. A University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate, Weiland is a lifelong resident of the state. He lives in Muskego with his wife, Seng, and son, Zachary. He is an avid sports fan and enjoys coaching his son’s youth baseball and basketball teams.