“The murder of George Floyd has surfaced a rage and grief that has built up over centuries of injustice in our country. The outrage, frustration, anger, and fear that black Americans are feeling stems from the long history of racism embedded in our society. The murder of George Floyd is only the latest death of a black person by the hands of police.


“We cannot separate George Floyd from Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Philando Castile, Eric Garner, Akai Gurley, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Patrick Dorismond and the many, many more black people who have been murdered because of the color of their skin.


“As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “A riot is the language of the unheard.” It is time for us to come together as a nation to set a new course that acknowledges the problematic race relations in our country. We must tackle the systemic issues that continue to oppress black people and the economic, housing, healthcare, and societal discrimination that makes it more difficult for black people to be successful in this country.


“The labor movement must stand with the Black Lives Matter movement in demanding an end to police violence with the same commitment that we fight to improve workers’ rights for a just economy for all,” said Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU).