We are saddened and angered by the news that Philando Castile was shot and killed by police in front of his girlfriend and her 4-year-old daughter in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, just hours after Alton Sterling was killed by police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families, and the series of events triggered by these killings is a tragedy that affects everyone in this country, whether they live in a city, the suburbs or a rural community.
The Land Stewardship Project’s mission is to develop healthy communities. We believe this requires fairness and equity, including racial equity. Structural racism includes by definition historical, cultural, institutional and interpersonal dynamics. Because it is embedded in our society, it advantages whites while producing cumulative and chronic adverse outcomes for people of color. Thus it is in direct opposition to healthy communities. Structural racism is real and deadly. It is as present in Minnesota as it is in Louisiana and across the country.
The events of recent days show the dire necessity of forthrightly working to dismantle racism in all its forms in a nonviolent manner. Until we confront structural racism embedded in our society’s institutions, policies and ways of operating, and shift the focus to racial equity, we will not achieve a sustainable society.
Land Stewardship Project executive director George Boody can be reached at 612-722-6377 or via e-mail.