My name is Amy Babcock. I am a mental health therapist in the Twin Cities area. I am writing on behalf of those who do not have their voices heard in our culture and community. My friends. My clients. People who deserve to be people without fear and hate.
The Constitution of the United States claims in its preamble that it is the job of our government’s representation to establish justice, promote the general welfare of the public, and to secure the blessings of liberty. The black community, these black lives, are a part of our general public and population. I am writing today due to the fact that these basic, unalienable rights that I receive as a White citizen seem to be easily denied to those that are close and dear to me. I am going to break down these points further.
To Establish Justice. It is the job of our government to establish fair, equal laws, regulations, and consequences for our citizens. Have we been following so blindly that we do not understand that we have a say in these things? When did the law enforcement, who is tasked with establishing justice, become above the law they are intended to be trusted to enforce? I believe there needs to be a serious look into the law enforcement system, and there needs to be changes made in the way these officers who engage in brutality are held accountable for their actions. Promote mental health and psychiatric evaluation. Promote monthly cultural diversity training. Promote sensitivity training. Promote mental health training on how to detain with mindfulness of implications relating to force, culture, and historical implications. Give the black community the ability to challenge injustice. Give the black community safety in expressing distress and being heard by these authorities. When the threat of police brutality overshadows the goodness of the policemen and women in our communities, something needs to change.
Promote the General Welfare. I have been blessed to have been provided many opportunities and resources in my life. Over the past week I have been listening to an outcry of underdeveloped communities and impoverished conditions. Many of these communities are given a slighted chance of success due to limited resources and opportunity. What would happen if we took just 1% of the salaries of government employees and placed that into funds to promote the establishment of equality in this area? Certainly, the drive, ethic, and passion to succeed despite adversity is in this community. They need funding and opportunity. Please consider opening up to promoting the welfare of a community who has endless positive contributions to offer, if only given the chance.
Secure the Blessings of Liberty. Liberty, as defined as, “The state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views.” Where is the liberty in this community? As Mayor Frey stated, the events unfolding before us are not the result of a horrific five minutes of video footage, this is the sorrow and anger of 400 years of oppression. One of the most impactful things I have heard during my time listening to peoples’ stories is that the Black Lives Matter movement is simply a synonym for the Civil Rights Movement. We need to give basic respect, rights, and regulations to the people within our country and within the black community. The argument that white people make is that ALL lives matter, but the reason we need to make the distinction that Black Lives Matter is because black lives are not yet part of the ALL as the definition of liberty currently stands. This community is still targeted. This community has still been denied basic rights, such as voting (as recently as 2019 in the Georgia governor election). Please stop ignoring the fact that this community is overlooked, oppressed, and unheard.
The impact this has had on the mental health of the clients I see within this community has been sorrowful, resentful, and simply defeating. Please, see them. Hear them. Engage and respond. Because if we do not follow through on what is promoted in our basic foundational governing regulations. If we cannot trust the very thing our country was founded on, what will we look to for guidance when determining what is just and unjust? If something unlawful is promoted and occurring in the community, it is the job of our government representative to engage in the check and balance system, and it is their job to then intervene.
To conclude, the final aspect of the preamble of our Constitution that I have not yet mentioned is Domestic Tranquility. I believe that in order to restore this aspect of our community and nation at large, systemic changes and steps need to be taken. I am writing to ask you to make this right. This is not George Floyd. This is hundreds of black men and women who have died unjustifiably at the hands of police and white Americans. Please consider being a part of a systemic change that provides true equality and justice for ALL throughout our country…because BLACK LIVES MATTER.