CHIPPEWA FALLS – On June 1st, in the wake of the killing of Minnesota resident George Floyd, Wisconsin Farmers Union issued a statement calling for a national effort to address individual, institutional, and structural racism. Now, the country reels once again following the shooting of Wisconsin resident Jacob Blake by Kenosha police and the subsequent shootings of three demonstrators by a 17-year-old gunman named Kyle Rittenhouse during the third night of protests demanding justice for Jacob Blake.
“When a tragedy happens, Wisconsinites come together. As an organization committed to enhancing the quality of life for family farmers, some might see Wisconsin Farmers Union as a rural advocacy group, but we believe in basic human rights for all all people, and we envision a Wisconsin with equal opportunities and treatment for every single person in it,” said Wisconsin Farmers Union Executive Director Julie Keown-Bomar. “We recognize that Black communities in Wisconsin continue to face injustice. We must come together to dismantle racism within our public institutions.”
Wisconsin Farmers Union reiterates their pledge to play a stronger role in ending systemic oppression, and calls on our rural and agricultural partners to provide monetary support to organizations of their choice who support and advocate for justice in Black communities.
As WFU President Darin Von Ruden stated in a previous release:
“The evidence of inequality is right in front of us. We cannot stand idly by and watch these acts of oppression continue. Silence makes us complicit. We all must stand in solidarity for our neighbors and for the need for change. The reactions we are seeing in cities throughout the nation are not in response to this single act but rather to a long history of injustices and entrenched racism in this country. We all must reflect on our own privileges and prejudices and demand structural change. This effort will not be easy, but it will be far easier if we are a country united, rather than divided.
We recognize the important work that lies ahead of us, even within our own organization, to reflect deeply, and perhaps uncomfortably, on the ways we may contribute to systems of oppression, in order to better understand how we will play a stronger role in dismantling them.”