May 29, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Hannah Packman, 202.554.1600
WASHINGTON – The killing of Minnesota resident George Floyd – the latest instance in a long and disturbing history of police brutality towards people of color – underscores the urgent need for racial justice and equity in the United States, according to National Farmers Union (NFU).
An early supporter of the women’s suffrage and civil rights movements, NFU has fought for freedom and equal opportunity for people of all races, genders, ethnicities, ages, and sexual orientations since its establishment in 1902. Though significant progress has been made in the last 118 years, it is clear that racism is still a pervasive a force in American society. In a statement released today, NFU President Rob Larew condemned police brutality and called for a national effort to address individual, institutional, and structural racism.
“The killing of George Floyd was an abuse of power and a horrifying act of violence– but what is even more horrifying is that this is not a rare or isolated incident. People of color are far more likely to be killed by police than their white counterparts; black Americans account for just 13 percent of the overall population, but 26 percent of fatal police shootings. But police brutality doesn’t occur in a vacuum. It’s just one of many examples of racism in our country – in criminal justice, financial services, health care, voting, education, and elsewhere.
“If we stand idly by while our friends and neighbors suffer – as too many of us have done for too long – we are complicit in their suffering. Now is the time to step up, to heal these wounds, to build a just and equal society. This will not be a quick or easy task – to overcome the terrible legacy of racism in this country, we all must reflect on our own privileges and prejudices, rethink our institutions, and demand structural change. The road ahead of us may be long and uncomfortable, but it is our moral obligation to traverse it.”
National Farmers Union advocates on behalf of nearly 200,000 American farm families and their communities. We envision a world in which farm families and their communities are respected, valued, and enjoy economic prosperity and social justice.