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passing the mic to #makelawbetter

We join the chorus of voices supporting the #blacklivesmatter movement and demanding action against racism and racial injustice in America. And we pass the mic to amplify black voices and their call for all of us in the legal profession to stand with them and accept that justice is not applied uniformly, to recognize the disparate treatment of Black people, and to hold our families, friends, institutions, and elected officials accountable to do the same.

Here, we pass the mic to the Black Law Students Association of Vanderbilt Law School by sharing part of a statement that BLSA members released today to the Vanderbilt University community. Go here to read the powerful statement in its entirety.

June 3, 2020

Dear Vanderbilt Law School Community,

The Vanderbilt Black Law Students Association (BLSA) is saddened and outraged by the recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and Sean Reed. We extend our deepest condolences to their families and all others who feel the impact of their untimely deaths. These names represent only a fraction of the countless Black lives needlessly taken at the hands of police brutality and racism.

Black Americans are three times more likely to be killed by law enforcement officials and are incarcerated at a rate five times higher than their White counterparts. These higher rates are not representative of higher levels of violent crimes in Black neighborhoods. The over-policing of Black communities has led to a distrust between law enforcement officials and Black civilians who are forced to suffer the consequences of this distrust alone.

We, too, have a right to feel safe in our homes among the comfort of our families without having to worry about our doors being kicked in without provocation or warning of any type.

We, too, should be able to jog through our neighborhoods without being slaughtered.

We, too, should be able to write checks and purchase groceries without being brutally beaten and suffocated.

We, too, are scared.