Black Lives Still Matter

Green Party of Texas
By Aaron Renaud
July 8, 2016

Last night was difficult for a variety of reasons. Chief among them is the realization that our pursuit of racial equality and police demilitarization will be even more challenging as a result. Many individuals have immediately chosen to blame the organizers and activists of the peaceful protests, here in Texas, and across the nation. The Green Party does not support violent methods of political expression, but we need to remember that the blame falls entirely on our corrupt and racist system and its institutions that terrify, brutalize, and murder people of color, as the recent incidents in Baton Rouge (#AltonSterling) and St. Paul (#PhilandoCastile) illustrate.

The truth is that violence begets violence; centuries of racist tyranny, a lack of police accountability, and the sharp rise of white nationalism begat the violence last night.

If you are horrified by the #Dallas shootings, then come and stand together with the brave members of Black Lives Matter and help end racial oppression. Now, more than ever, we need to work together. Already death threats are being sent out in order to intimidate the friends and families of innocents labelled suspects by the media, community activists, and people of color in general.

We need to make clear that we will not tolerate the demonization and disrespect of communities peacefully protesting for safety from the violence of the State. We need to hold firm to the fundamental and overriding truth, that black lives really do matter to us.

The Green Party of Texas stands in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and other like-minded organizers, and we will will continue the fight for racial equality and police demilitarization, in the streets and at the voting booth.

Below is more information on our views regarding police-based oppression from our State Platform. If you want to see such policies, we invite you to join us in getting Greens elected as it is painfully obvious the establishment parties will do nothing to implement them.

GPTX Platform:

We recognize the disproportionate legal abuses faced by minority populations, especially by low income, people of color, queers, transpeople, and cisfemales. We support a balancing of police forces to reflect the makeup of communities being policed and generally the self-policing by communities rather than by law-enforcement.

  1. In order to prevent further police brutality, we support the use of full body cameras that cannot be disabled by officers, demilitarization, and gradual across the board disarmament of the police. All video recordings should be stored indefinitely and available to the public online, without charge, except in cases to protect the victim’s identity and dignity.
  2. Every law-enforcement department should be required to keep and report data to the public regarding police violence statistics.
  3. We advocate a shift in funding from policing and prisons on the local, state, and federal levels to minority communities for job creation and educational opportunities.
  4. Along with the Black Lives Matter movement and other movements and organizations, we demand justice for all people murdered by the police.
  5. We advocate the dismissal of and criminal investigation into all officials that allowed police brutality to continue without acknowledgement or justice.
  6. We advocate the establishment and full funding of independent civilian review boards, with subpoena power, at municipal and county levels, to oversee the investigation and subsequent prosecution of law enforcement officers accused of misconduct or brutality.
  7. We strongly urge jurisdictions to provide independent prosecution and to require instructions and incentives for prosecuting agencies to pursue indictments against law enforcement officers in cases of alleged misconduct or brutality, rather than withholding evidence from grand juries, as well as comprehensive reform of the grand jury system to prevent no-bills of officers when evidence is clearly sufficient to proceed to trial.

Aaron Renaud is Co-Chair of the Green Party of Texas Executive Committee (SEC)