We, the members of Kalamazoo Nonviolent Opponents of War (KNOW),
express our deep sorrow over the tragic death of George Floyd,
offer condolences to his family and friends, and condemn
the racist police violence that led to his murder. We urge that
the police officers involved in this heinous crime be prosecuted
and held accountable.
We also commit ourselves to continue to work to resist
the militarization of the police and our society, to restructure
the systemic racism built into all of our social institutions,
and to advocate for peaceful means to resolve conflicts, large and small.
As an important first step toward accomplishing these critical goals,
we urge that government at all levels begin the process of
reallocating economic resources away from military and police
budgets toward vital public services (such as education and health care),
social supports for strained families and children,
economic empowerment programs for workers, and anti-racism initiatives.
Without social and economic justice for all, there can be no peace.
When black, brown, red, and yellow lives matter, then all lives matter.
As Martin Luther King, Jr. once argued, “we as a nation must undergo
a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift
from a ‘thing-oriented’ society to a ‘person-oriented’ society.
When machines and computers, profit motives and
property rights are considered more important than people,
the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism
are incapable of being conquered.”