Social Witness Statements: Action of Immediate Witness
Main Content

Condemn the Racist Mistreatment of Young People of Color by Police2013 Action of Immediate Witness

WHEREAS, programs such as the “War on Drugs” and practices such as “Stop and Frisk” are actively used by police to harass and oppress communities of color;

WHEREAS, Michelle Alexander, at the 2012 UUA General Assembly said, “We use our criminal justice system to label people of color ‘criminals’ and then engage in all the practices we supposedly left behind. . . . As a criminal, you have scarcely more rights, and arguably less respect, than a black man living in Alabama at the height of Jim Crow. We have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it;”

WHEREAS, this racist harassment has led to a growing number of African-American and Hispanic youth who have been mistreated and incarcerated because of police action;

WHEREAS, thousands of people have participated in mass multi-racial and multi-ethnic demonstrations seeking the ending of this racist mistreatment and violence by police;

WHEREAS, the Unitarian Universalist Principles provide a clear mandate to protest such treatment:

  • Unitarian Universalist Principles affirm the goal of a just community, representing unity in our multi-racial world;
  • Unitarian Universalist Principles affirm the inherent worth and dignity of every person; and

WHEREAS, the “Stop and Frisk” practice mainly targets young people of color and treats them in a racist manner that negates their inherent worth and dignity and leads to mass incarceration at tremendous social cost:

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the 2013 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association affirms to uphold our Principles and condemn the racist practices displayed in what Michelle Alexander describes in her book as “the New Jim Crow” and calls upon member congregations to:

  • Condemn the pattern of mistreatment through practices such as “Stop and Frisk,” which mainly targets young people of color in our society, which negates their inherent worth and dignity, and continues the mass practice of institutional racism in our society.

The General Assembly also calls upon member congregations to:

  • Petition local, state, and federal representatives to demand an end to institutional racism in the form of practices such as “Stop and Frisk” and
  • Actively demonstrate alongside others who are fighting to change the laws that allow police harassment, which results in violence against communities of color.