Brian Rothgery

“As I heard the verdict of “not guilty” in a case where another young Black male was killed at the hands of a police officer, my mind and my heart are with the family and the community.

“In the wake of several recent officer-involved shootings we have witnessed marches, rallies, civil unrest, hurt, anger and fear. We often talk about change, unity, fairness, and rights, but I don’t see us making much progress.

“The shadow of racism and inequality hangs over all the people that I see investing their time, energy, and money to improve our community, mentor our young men, lift up our young women, and advocate and organize for change.

“We say “Black Lives Matter” because we have to remind others that we are too humans. We have fought for centuries to secure the rights and freedoms that other races enjoy without question. The system we live in already counts several strikes against us before we are even born.

“It is sad that we are still dealing with the same issues in 2017 that we have been dealing with for hundreds of years in this country.  Milwaukee has been named the “worst city for Black Americans,” but these statistics are real people. When I look at the Black males in my community, I know that one out of eight has served time.  As an educator I’ve witnessed the school to prison pipeline in action.

“This is a call for unity: not only to march and rally together, but to organize and develop a unified plan for real change, for the betterment of our community, until we can say with confidence that Black lives really do matter!

“We cannot wait for another Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Malcolm X or Cesar Chavez to save us: We have to be the savior of our people.”

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