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Aytzim Brief Statement for Reparations and Against Violence and White Supremacy

3 June 2020 / 11 Sivan 5780

The racist rhetoric and actions of white supremacists — including policemen who murdered George Floyd, and the U.S. president who threatens further violence against those who stand up for justice — once again leaves us stating the obvious: Caring for the Earth also means caring for its people, and the institutional racism built into governmental systems causes senseless death and suffering, as well as economic deprivation, traumatic stress and exposure to pollution that is inflicted from generation to generation. White supremacy should have been dismantled long ago and its stubborn persistence represents a blight on society. White supremacy is a systematic problem and it demands a systematic solution. As always, Aytzim stands against senseless violence and stands against racism and stands against white supremacy. And as always, Aytzim stands with the marginalized, the oppressed and their allies who shout for justice.

To that end, it is past time that America pays for its crimes of slavery. Reparations cannot heal the wounds of slavery, racism and white supremacy, but it offers the opportunity to help correct some of the economic injustices that have been institutionalized by governmental systems for generations. The Jewish laws of shmita dictate that it is not enough to free enslaved people, but that they must be compensated for their labor. They must be given reparations. Grounded in our Jewish values, Aytzim supports efforts to provide long-due reparations and we also support efforts to end police violence. As the Torah commands us (Deut. 16:20), we must pursue justice. Justice!

 


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