In a speech at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate in Boston this weekend, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) spoke out against racial inequality, urging Americans to recognize the violence, economic injustice and voting rights restrictions being faced by black and other non-white populations in the country.
“This is the reality all of us must confront, as uncomfortable and ugly as that reality may be. It comes to us to once again affirm that black lives matter, that black citizens matter, that black families matter,” she said.
Her remarks, which drew lines directly from the civil rights movements of the past to today’s anti-police violence movements, also touched on economic inequality and inequities in the nation’s housing systems. “Owning a home won’t stop someone from burning a cross on the front lawn,” Warren explained. “Admission to a school won’t prevent a beating on the sidewalk outside.”
Warren added: “It is a tragedy when any American cannot trust those who have sworn to protect and serve. This pervasive and persistent distrust isn’t based on myths. It is grounded in the reality of unjustified violence.”
Her words have been lauded by activists like DeRay Mckesson, who said Warren’s speech “clearly and powerfully” explained the dangers of structural racism. “Warren, better than any political leader I’ve yet heard, understands the protests as a matter of life or death,” he told the Washington Post.