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An open letter from Senator Mark Warner

I’m sure folks have seen the protests this weekend in response to George Floyd’s murder at the hands of police officers, and years of violence against the black community.

As of writing this email, three of the officers involved have not been charged. We need a full investigation and accountability for all involved in this crime.

Black Americans have been denied justice in our country for far too long. Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and too many others should still be alive today — and the painful truth is that if they were white, they probably would be.

For some, this moment is a wake-up call. For others, this is the America they have always known — simmering just below the surface. We all have a responsibility to challenge racist systems and demand not only justice, but accountability, and meaningful change — starting at home.

It’s easy to simply say hate has no place in America, but as your senator it’s my duty to do more. Throughout my time in the Senate, I’ve supported measures to prevent discrimination against people of color at work, at school, and at the ballot box. You have my promise that I will continue to fight for legislative changes that make our commonwealth — and our country — a more just place.

This is a moment to act. I hope you will join me in confronting biases, hate, and discriminatory systems in place in our communities, schools, and in our justice system.

It is not now, nor has it ever been enough, to simply say we believe in equality. We have to show up and do the work to fight against injustice and racism. For some, that means joining protests, or signing a petition. For others, that may mean making a donation amid this challenging time in our country. If you’re looking for ways to take action, consider supporting the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, or an organization in your community focused on securing justice.

And, I leave you with this: the fact remains that the vast majority of us want to live together and want justice for everyone in this country. We must join together to achieve that goal.

Mark Warner is a U.S. Senator for the Commonwealth of Virginia. He can be reached at 1-877-676-2759.