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JLC Joins in Outrage against the Murder of George Floyd; Calls for Change against Systemic Racism in the U.S.

June 2, 2020: New York, NY - Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Jewish Labor Committee, has issued the following statement on behalf of the organization:

We join in the overwhelming outrage against the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, and express our deepest condolences to Mr. Floyd's family. Nothing can make up for their loss, but bringing to justice the police officer who killed him, and his three fellow officers who stood by without intervening, will, we hope, provide a bit of solace in their mourning.
We stand in solidarity with African Americans who have for centuries lived with the realities of racism in this society, and its many manifestations from the most brutal and violent, as in the murder of Mr. Floyd, to persistent racially-based housing, education, income, wealth, employment and health care inequities.
We join with the labor movement and the Jewish community in the many heartfelt and thoughtful messages of condemnation, sadness, and solidarity, and the calls for systemic change. And we stand with our African-American sisters and brothers in the Jewish community, and in the labor movement, whose insights are invaluable to all who are working for meaningful change.
We support the vast majority of those who, even in the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic, are peacefully yet forcefully demonstrating against the murder of Mr. Floyd, and the long history of brutality against Black men and women at the hands of police officers and others, and standing up against systemic racism in the United States.
We deplore those on the fringes of these demonstrations who are engaging in violence and looting. As a bridge linking the Jewish community and the labor movement, the JLC condemns those who have spray-painted anti-Semitic slogans and committed anti-Semitic acts against Jewish communal institutions, and, most recently, those who vandalized the headquarters of the AFL-CIO.
All of these violent acts not only deflect attention from the just concerns of these many demonstrations against racist violence and racial inequity, but also allow some of our top political leaders, including President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr, to turn this tragic moment into an excuse to ignore the urgent need for reform, especially in this country's criminal justice system, in the name of "law and order."