FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Columbus, GA – Teresa Tomlinson, two-term mayor of Columbus, former Public Safety Director, and Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate from Georgia, released the following statement:
Tonight, we heard the powerful and wise words of Mayor Keisha Bottoms and Rapper Killer Mike urging predominately black protesters to “go home” and to fight at the voting booth. They spoke in tough terms directing black Atlantans to not “burn their own house.”
Now, I want to address white Georgians:
This is a broad recognition – a day of reckoning. We will not have a racial or economic underclass in this country. If there is no justice, there will be no civic stability, and that affects us all. We have had decades to make these changes – to insist with one voice that systemic racial bias in our justice system be addressed, and we have failed to stand in complete solidarity with our brothers and sisters of color. If you are a white person of good conscience, you must join in this moment. You must peacefully take to the streets and enthusiastically take to the ballot, and insist on systemic and structural change long overdue.
We can legislatively reverse overly broad immunities for rogue and brutal police officers who would kill under cover of a badge. We do this to protect all people and the good police officers who are put at risk by the reckless conduct of the depraved and dangerous few.
We can fully adopt President Obama’s Commission’s Report on 21st Century Policing.
We can fully fund Department of Justice programs like Community Organizing Policing Services (COPS), which partners with the twenty thousand law enforcement agencies to help conform them to best practices.
And, we can remove from office those who would racially divide us and incite such bigotry and violence.
Enough. Where do you stand?