Statement on shootings

In the wake of the recent and tragic events in Louisiana, Minnesota, and Texas, we in the American Solidarity Party offer our prayers and deepest condolences for the victims and their loved ones. Every death is a tragedy, because every person is loved by someone left behind.

All people are created by God with dignity and rights. The right to life is the source of all other human rights, and it is only when an aggressor leaves no other reasonable means of defense that a life can be taken.

We cannot be content, however, with abstract principles. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. observed, “No American can afford to be apathetic about the problem of racial justice. It is a problem that meets every man at his front door.” This is because community is the foundation of civil society, and a decrease of the sense of community has cast a shadow of fear and tension across the streets of America. We cannot expect peace for ourselves when we do nothing for the peace of others.

The American Solidarity Party, in support of those who suffer the effects of discrimination, whether intentional or systemic, and of those who defend the public at the risk of their own lives, calls for the following measures:

First: Every community must move swiftly, through public dialogue, to foster trust and understanding between police and the citizens they serve. Voices that are often ignored must now be heard.

Second: Each community must determine for itself the best way to improve relations and outcomes. For some, this may involve the use of body cameras and the permanent or temporary storage of the images they contain. For others, improved police presence outside of emergency situations would be the most significant step forward. Still others may decide to restrict the pool of candidates for law enforcement to residents of the city or surrounding communities.

Third, groups of police, city administrators, and citizens should be formed to review the effects of new policies and their reception by the public.
These measures will help to restore the mutual trust and sense of community that are essential to a peaceful society. But in the long run, they are not enough. As Dr. King also remarked, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” If we would have a peaceful and prosperous society, we must eradicate all forms of injustice—in our laws, in our economic relations, and in our foreign and domestic policies. Only when our society is firmly rooted in solidarity will the threat of violence truly be diminished.

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