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Response to the Murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile

Wednesday, July 13, 2016   (2 Comments)
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National Association of Black Social Workers, Inc

Response to the Murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile


The National Association of Black Social Workers, Inc. (herein referred to as NABSW) is committed to enhancing the quality of life and empowering people of African ancestry through advocacy, human service delivery and research. 

In addition to this mission, NABSW seeks to create an environment in which people of African ancestry will live free from racial domination, economic exploitation, and cultural oppression.

NABSW denounces the senseless and unlawful killings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, LA and of Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, MN. The actions exhibited by law enforcement individuals in the handling of the encounters with the victims, of excessive police brutality is in opposition to our belief that Black people live free of racial injustices. These types of incidents with law enforcement are all too commonplace and follow a horrific history that African Americans are all too familiar with in our relationship with the American criminal justice system.  Todays technology has illuminated the injustices and slaying of Black people by police officers which has been known and believed in the African American community for years.

In a recent article in the Washington Post, dated April 7, 2016 by Wesley Lowery, he reports that a recent academic study finds that police fatally shoot unarmed Black males at disproportionate rates. "Race remains the most volatile flash point in any accounting of police shootings. Although Black men make up only 6% of the U.S. population, they account for 40% of the unarmed men shot to death by police this year(2015) Washington Post article Dec.26,2015 by Kimberly Kindy, Marc Fisher, Julie Tate, Jennifer Jenkins.

In an article by Mark Perry of AEIdeas, Sept.9, 2015 he reports that in an article by The Guardian "Despite urgent warnings from police and others about a "war on cops” allegedly linked to the Black Lives Matter protest movement, statistics show 2015 is in fact shaping up to be one of the safest years for law enforcement in a generation”.

In light of the recent incident in Dallas involving the loss of life of law enforcement officers we must not condone this act of violence and cannot endorse this type of action. We must realize that there is no war on police officers by the African American community. There is a war on injustice, discrimination, excessive use of power and the unjustified killing of citizens. We recognize the police murders as an horrific action which was that of a single individual whose family and acquaintances have reported him to have changed after returning from military duty in Afghanistan, however, they all expressed shock at his choice of action.  Some who knew him are reported to have noticed him being affected by both killings of black people by police and his perceived inaction of black political groups. What triggered his actions  may never be known, however, racial trauma is real and its affect presents itself in various ways.

In NABSWs desire to create an environment of racial equity and justice  we offer our services to local, state and federal entities in addressing the health of our community. NABSW is adequately skilled with the experts to address the mental health of our community, police/community relations and the psychological needs of our community to change the script that is so often being played out over and over in communities across the United States. The historical perspectives of being African in America must be examined and discussions must begin to devise a common sense, practical and realistic solution in addressing a complex situation. 

Our mental health also matters.  Dealing with the constant trauma associated with viewing murder after murder of innocent, unarmed Black men takes an emotional toll. Anyone in need of counseling reources is encouraged to contact or a local church, local minority health coalition or suicide prevention hotline.  Racial trauma is real and there are resources within our communities to protect, heal and advance.   #NOSHAME  

Do not hesitate to seek help for any problems that occur with a possible sleep disorder, thoughts of harming yourself or others, increased anger, irritability, depression, anxiety, persistent or reoccurring negative thoughts or images. Talk to someone.  There is help.

Black Lives Matter!


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Kenneth Green says...
Posted Thursday, July 14, 2016
Ken Green says that involvement in local politics and considering running for office is one of the strategies that must be employed.
Toni Oliver says...
Posted Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Racial trauma is Real! I offer a link from to help identify with our collective trauma as Black people who are confronted with the reality that Black lives are dispensable. Racial trauma is real. All Lives don't have to deal with a history of beatings, brandings, rapings, lynchings, murders based on racial devaluation? Our menta health matters.

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