Statement on Systemic State Violence and Anti Black Racism by Warren Williams, President

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

As President of CUPE Local 15 I have thought about addressing the fear, violence, and anger since the murder of George Floyd. I am tired of stating the obvious when it’s not my voice that should be heard. I didn’t create the racist attitudes that my family has fought against all our lives. Six hundred years of history created this moment. Of course we are angry and I challenge anyone to deny us that anger.

We should all be angry that we continue to condone the oppression of generation after generation of a people; a people that have done nothing except give of themselves over and over again, generation after generation.

I am still willing to work and am hopeful for change but the reality is that it is not my work so why be surprised or shocked or dismayed when a reckoning comes? What has been done to avoid it other than oppress the very people you should stand up for?

There is a huge amount of misplaced guilt out there. It’s hard not to feel guilty if you were raised with certain values that all people deserve to be treated with dignity, respect, compassion, and understanding. If these are values you were raised with then where is your voice? How can any of us continue to see a people oppressed by another simply because of the colour of skin? When you are a member of the oppressors, even though you believe you are not racist, by standing by, turning a blind eye, and having no voice, you are condoning the oppression.

I know many of you will read this and feel attacked, which is why at the beginning of this I said it is not my voice that needs to be heard, it is yours.

Only when you demand and fight for change will change come. After 600 years it’s obvious to me that it’s not my voice that needs to be heard.