The Black Community Watchline was created in response to the modern-day lynching of George Floyd captured on video. The visceral reaction to the video sent throngs of people across the country and around the world into the streets calling for justice and decrying racism. But the threat of violence against Black people has not diminished. Demonstrations and prayer vigils have all but disappeared from the weekly news cycle. Meanwhile, vigilantes like the individuals who killed Ahmaud Arbery and law enforcement officers, like Derek Chauvin, threaten Black people's safety and well-being, and authorities in housing, education, health care and the workplace support and implement policies and practices that continue to enforce racial disparities.
On July 1, 2020, the president called the words “Black Lives Matter” a “symbol of hate,” which blatantly disregards the violence and injustice to which Black people have been and continue to be subjected. Moreover, this unwarranted designation further fans the flame of anti-Black rhetoric from white supremacists. In this nation we are told to uphold certain ideals, which include practices such as a pledge to the American flag that declares “liberty and justice for all.” However, since its writing in 1892, Black people have yet to fully enjoy the values and freedoms promised in that pledge. Therefore, we believe change cannot wait. While policy reforms are stalled or set back due to the politicization of human life, Black lives are disproportionally at risk of physical, mental and emotional trauma every day.
The Black Community Watchline was created to empower individuals to speak out and address instances of anti-Black violence, aggression and bias. The Watchline provides a platform to report immediate threats of racial violence, microaggressions, and racially motivated experiences that undermine the respect, dignity and fair treatment that Black people should receive.
The Black Community Watchline is committed to seeing that incidences of violence, harassment, intimidation are not overlooked, dismissed or mishandled by public servants, persons of influence, and individuals in positions of power.