DRT’s Statement on Racial Justice

June 2, 2020

In recent months, our country has witnessed a series of all too common tragedies. The murders of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and now George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis have brought to light what has been true for years. Systemic racism and oppression are deeply woven into our country’s history and our justice system. Disability Rights Tennessee (DRT) supports those rejecting racism and demanding justice for another needless death.

DRT is rooted in the values of equality, justice, and inclusion. We work to protect the rights of people with disabilities who are also people of color, immigrants, refugees, members of the LGBT community, and members of every religious group. For us to fulfill our vision of inclusion, integration, self-determination, productivity, and independence for people with disabilities, our society must be free of racism and oppression. Our work and lives are interwoven. 

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” Martin Luther King Jr.

The disability rights movement was born of the inspiring work of the American Civil Rights movement, and continues to be inseparable from the human rights movements for racial, economic, and gender equity. To achieve our mission, we must take an intersectional approach to our advocacy. And we must go further to conduct internal examinations of the structures we influence and racism that exists within us as well. DRT will continue to expand our work for equality, inclusion, and justice until hatred, bigotry, and racism is extinguished for good.

Plain Lanugage Summary:

George Floyd was killed by a police officer. This made people notice racist policies in America. People across the country are working to end racism. Disability Rights Tennessee supports people who want to end racism. 

Disability Rights Tennessee works to protect the rights of Tennesseans with disabilities. There are people with disabilities of all races, religions, and gender identities. To help people with disabilities we must also help end racism. 

Disability Rights Tennessee is working to end systems of racism and oppression.