APAA Stands in Solidarity with Justice for All Black People
Position Statement by APAA
This is an unprecedented time for Black people around the world. Repeated police brutality is the grim reality that Black people face on a daily basis. Since being released from slavery in the 19th Century, deep rooted systematic racism has continued to considerably affect the lives of black people in North America and other parts of the world. The judicial system, which should stand as the ultimate recourse for such injustices is not divorced from these systematic imbalances.
The recent killing of a black man, George Floyd, in the United States, while under police custody, is only one of the latest unjust and inhumane acts in a long history of police brutality. We must not forget the many others who have lost their lives, including, but not limited to Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Breonna Taylor in the United states, as well as O’Brien Christopher-Reid, Reyal Jardine-Douglas, Alain Magoire, Andrew Loku, Machuar Madut, 43 year old father of three, living with mental health issues and others, here in Canada.
Africans in Partnership Against AIDS (APAA) shares the sentiments voiced by all who seek justice for Black people following the killing of Floyd.
APAA strongly denounces the excessive use of force by police on civilians. Such acts are deeply rooted in the historic and systemic injustice that Black people have had to endure for centuries.
We vehemently condemn racism and racial killings in all their forms, as we have been doing for years. APAA has been one of the few strong voices for Black people in Canada in collaboration with other Black led organizations. However, too many Black lives are still being lost and not respected.
Importantly, our demand to respect all black lives is not only being directed at non-Blacks, but to the Black community as well, which too often discriminate and perpetrate acts of violence against their own — the case of 21 year old trans woman, Iyanna Dior, who was violently attacked and beaten by a group of cisgendered black men in Minneapolis, Minnesota, last week, is a case in point. Such acts by members of the Black community only serve to undermine our own calls for the respect of black lives. Black LGBTQ+ lives deserve the same respect and protection as all other Black lives, because all Black lives matter.
While fighting different forms of racism, discrimination, criminalization and incarceration of Black people living with HIV in Canada, we continue to stand in solidarity with all who are calling for justice for the Black community.
We strongly call on the Canadian Government and all other concerned bodies in Canada to:
Work towards eliminating all forms of systemic anti-Black racism and oppression;Treat Black people, and other racialized communities with the dignity and respect deserved;Institutionalize Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression frameworks; Encourage dialogue and partnership between law enforcement agencies and the Black communities; and Address systemic barriers that deter Black people from accessing health services, as Black lives do matter!
Africans in Partnership Against AIDS