Audio file of radio address.

Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes today delivered the Democratic Radio Address on the killing of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer and the resulting protests against systemic racism.

Hey Wisconsin, it’s Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes, and I just want to share a message about some of the recent events that we’ve seen unfold in our state and across the country.

Like so many other Black lives in this country, George Floyd’s life was stolen from his family and from his community.

In George Floyd’s death, we remember those Black Wisconsinites who we have lost to systemic racism and those at the hands of the very people who have sworn to protect and serve.

We have to recognize that, especially in our state, acts of systemic violence are happening every day, and they include more than just fatal police violence.

This includes the poverty, poor environmental conditions, and inequitable access to health care experienced by Black communities and other communities of color. These, too, are systemic forms of violence.

Those who are protesting this injustice are doing so in order to save our nation, and they should be protected as they do so.

We have to reject the idea that this is not who we are, as a society and as a country. Unfortunately, this country was built by stolen labor on stolen land. It’s who we have always been. But, together, we can all work to change that.

Governor Evers has called on the legislature to pass Assembly Bill 1012 to create use of force standards for law enforcement officers and establish some accountability, but we all know that this is just a first step.

We will need far more than just one bill to create a state that is truly just and equitable for all communities.

Systemic problems require systemic solutions, and Governor Evers and I are committed to working toward those solutions until Wisconsin is the welcoming and inclusive state that we all know it can be.

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