EBCLC’s Statement on the U.S. Presidential InaugurationWednesday, January 20, 2021
East Bay Community Law Center
Statement on the U.S. Presidential Inauguration
The East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC) celebrates today’s inauguration, and perhaps more importantly the end of the previous administration. We must also acknowledge that calls for unity and healing are both superficial and deadly for our communities and the clients we represent. In the wake of the violent, attempted coup at the Capitol, and in the wreckage of all we have endured and lost during the last four years, we must all center anti-racism in our practice. We must hold each other accountable and recognize that whitelash is deeply entrenched in our country’s history. Our commitment to a world in which race does not matter requires daily work.
Jim Crow era violence, redlining, the War on Drugs, Reaganomics and the 2016 election of a White Supremacist president are all a part of a historical continuum of whitelash in the US. White supremacy has long been a badge that has and continues to give impunity to predominantly white men who carry out violence within Black and BIPOC communities. In our home state of California, whitelash is clearly reflected within our history. In 1930, white mobs dragged and violently beat Filipino and Latin@ farmers from their homes in Watsonville and proceeded to riot for five days. Today, Latin@ farm workers continue to endure systemic discrimination and violence. Whitelash motivated Proposition 187, which mandated that undocumented workers uphold the state’s economy but be denied its benefits, and Proposition 209, which prohibited people of color from disrupting white controlled institutions.
As a woman of color-led and women of color-centered organization, the EBCLC fully commits to:
- Rigorously interrogating how our decisions, endorsements, actions, and silence uplift or further disadvantage our predominantly Black women clients.
- Centering the dignity of women and families who cross our borders and are integral to our communities.
- Advocating that 100% of our clients are vaccinated against COVID-19.
At this critical moment, we are seeing our Latin@ and Black communities disproportionately impacted by a deadly global pandemic: Black and Latin@ women lost 140,000 jobs in December; Filipina nurses, who bore the brunt of healthcare worker deaths, are bracing for on-going devastation; and Latin@ essential workers are disproportionately dying while holding the US economy on their backs. Yet, we are also seeing incredible resilience and leadership from our BIPOC communities, with Black women organizers in Georgia wresting Congress from white supremacist control.
As we head into this new year and administration, EBCLC is and will be pursuing, with unapologetic clarity and focus, our Women of Color-Centered Equity Platform. We urge you to join us and get activated.
Women of Color-Centered Equity Platform
- Relief and Freedom for our undocumented workers, students, and community members who kept our economy afloat during COVID-19. This must include expansion of DACA and DAPA.
- Healthcare for all. Healthcare facilities address racial disparities in health outcomes. They ensure that their providers do not discriminate against their staff or patients.
- Universal basic income. Meaningful cash disbursements that allow communities of color to compete with generational white wealth.
- An Enforceable Right to Housing. All back rent must be waived, and the eviction moratorium extended until the structural changes are made by the state and local government to address redlining.
- Cancellation of Student Debt. Student loan forgiveness will ensure that historic unemployment and a slow economy will not impoverish primarily Black borrowers.
- Immediate release of all incarcerated youth. Investments must be made in families, not the school-to-prison pipeline.
- Release and provide reparations for all ensnared in the failed War on Drugs. Universal recognition that drug laws and enforcement must be accompanied by meaningful action to address their deep harm to primarily Black, Indigenous, and Latin@ communities.
- A living wage. Compensation for essential workers and their families must be commensurate to their value.