Stand for Children Indiana Executive Director Justin Ohlemiller released the following statement today regarding the weekend protests in Indianapolis sparked by the long history of police brutality:
“Whether it’s the horrendous killing of black people at the hands of law enforcement, or the unjust discipline policies in schools that target black children, or the huge opportunity gap that exists in public school systems across our country -- all are rooted in the evils of systemic racism that permeates our society.
As an organization whose mission is to fight inequities in public education and to grant opportunities in the classroom too often afforded to only white children, we stand in solidarity with the protestors who took to the streets of Indianapolis this weekend to peacefully demand justice for victims of police brutality. We stand by the Indianapolis parents we serve, many of whom are raising children of color who risk becoming the next victim of racism – costing them their education or even their lives.
We ask our city and state leaders to allow peaceful protests to continue, unabated. We also ask them to listen and heed the calls for substantial change. As Dr. King said, we must always stay focused on the underlying injustices that lead people to speak out, act up, and in some cases, give in to understandable and deeply felt anger:”
“And so in a real sense our nation’s summers of riots are caused by our nation’s winters of delay. And as long as America postpones justice, we stand in the position of having these recurrences of violence and riots over and over again. Social justice and progress are the absolute guarantors of riot prevention.” -Dr. Martin Luther King