Whereas, slavery and land theft via Indigenous genocide along with their modern-day relatives of racism, segregation, criminalization of Black and Brown bodies, nationalism, xenophobia, sexism, transphobia and homophobia were present during the inception of the GA and are still Now Immoral practices of dehumanization brought into these continents through violence by colonizers;
Whereas, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle continue to assimilate to the GA culture dubbed “the Virginia way” refusing to name and oppose racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia, or islamophobia;
Whereas those same lawmakers, descendants of colonizers and slaveholders, invoke the “Virginia Way” in the same breath as Southern Hospitality and “Christian Principles” fail to show a hospitable, welcoming environment to people whom are descendants of this continent’s original inhabitants seeking a new life in Virginia;
Whereas We The People recognize that these words and many others are coded, steeped in respectability politics and are a relic of Virginia’s antebellum past;
Whereas the very constitution written by patriarchal figures of the past completely erases womxn, trans women, femme presenting people and any person outside the gender binary as well as consenting adults of different sexual orientations and non-traditional relationship agreements;
Whereas to this day lawmakers deny equal pay and equal rights to all people who are not cisgender men;
Whereas legislators in 2019 continue to make statements that are explicitly Islamophobic and Anti Semitic both inside and outside the Capitol building while championing legislation which limits the rights of Believers of all Faiths in the State of Virginia;
Whereas lawmakers cite their own religious beliefs to push a Christian supremacist agenda such as limiting religious education in public schools to study of the Christian Scriptures;
Whereas our state, also known as the Mother State, gives parents-- Especially Black and Brown womxn - the least access and opportunity for education, housing, health care, bodily autonomy, equal representation and protections under the law in the Commonwealth of Virginia;
Whereas Virginia’s children are targeted by the school to prison pipeline, racist and nationalist terrorism, and a whitewashed history that romanticizes the generational trauma of minority students and parents in Virginia live in fear of the school to prison pipeline, white terrorism on school grounds and public spaces;
Whereas all children of Virginia suffer when their parents are targeted and living in fear of agencies like and including ICE and overall the for profit carceral system, which is in desperate need of reform through the lense of restorative justice.
Whereas the Virginia legislature voted to support a resolution commending ICE even going as far as comparing ICE agents to US Marshalls, a post created long ago as a way to persecute, detain and return Human Beings to their cruel and violent captors. These lawmakers fail to see that these uninformed, reactionary racist resolutions and praise for dehumanizing practices of kidnapping and jailing people only hurt all Virginians and our families.
Whereas Virginia legislators who are supposed to represent their constituents consistently turn a blind eye to the most vulnerable people in their districts.
Whereas our elected Governor upon revelation of his own racist past refuses to process accountability and step down from office. Ignoring calls from both political parties, organizations, faith leaders and most importantly The People of Virginia to resign the office which The People gave him.
Whereas our Lt. Governor, when confronted with sexual assault accusations, has chosen to hide behind lawsuits instead of taking time for reflection and real accountability in action in the era of Tarana Burke’s ME TOO movement; and by his actions has created deep mistrust and even re-traumatized survivors of sexual violence all over the Nation;
Whereas both the Governor and Lt. Governor’s decisions to Ignore The People of Virginia as we call for truth, resignation from public office, and self-reflection outside of public office shows a lack of moral fiber which is of utmost importance for those who hold statewide office;
Whereas the Governor and Lt. Governor’s refusal to step down has cast a deep pall of suspicion and mistrust over the entire Democratic Party of Virginia;
Whereas The People already feel mistrust over the entire Republican Party;
Whereas we recognize AG Mark Herring did the right thing in coming forth with his own admission of guilt but Not taking away from the fact that his actions were the wrong thing we demand that his time served before stepping aside is used to undo all oppressive laws within his power.
Whereas all these practices prevent all people from truly pursuing life, liberty and happiness whilst tromping all over inherent human rights;