Oxfam stands in solidarity not only with those who are victims of violence, but also with all those who are speaking out publically in support of marginalized communities. We support those who demand justice, accountability, and decisive action to end the institutionalized racism that persists in our country.
Oxfam believes in the power of people working together to overcome poverty. We believe in a world that is more equitable and safer, where people can influence the decisions that affect their lives, and can exercise their rights and responsibilities as full citizens. We believe that all people have the right to life, liberty, access to resources, and equal protection under the law. We believe these are rights, not privileges.
Today we recognize our collective responsibility and opportunity to hold the powerful accountable. Lasting change will require a massive effort by all Americans to address the root causes of racism. We join with other social advocates in demanding respect for black lives and black life now.
On every measure of economic and social well-being, African Americans fare worse than white Americans. African Americans are more likely to be poor, to be out of work or hold low-wage jobs, or to experience homelessness and food insecurity. Whites are almost twice as likely to have received a bachelor’s degree and to own their own homes.
A quarter of African Americans live below the federal poverty line, while 45 percent of black children live in poverty. By comparison, 13 percent of white Americans and 14 percent of white children live in poverty, according to the EPI based on Census data (2014).
African American men bear the brunt of a dangerous confluence of factors: Black men have the highest rate of unemployment (among white men and women, black men and women, and Asians); they are more likely than white men to be incarcerated (Pew); and they are more likely to be subject to police violence.
As an organization that knows that change is possible only when we tackle the root causes of issues like poverty and injustice, Oxfam understands that the inequalities that African Americans face are not coincidental. Many are part of deliberate structures that were created to keep African Americans from sharing the same rights as other Americans. Many of these racist structures have been dismantled, but eradicating biases, inequity, and racism in all its forms will require persistent collective action. The inequalities that African Americans are working to overcome can be traced back to 400 years of slavery, disenfranchisement, and then institutionalized racism. It has been a long road to the fragile advances many African Americans enjoy today.
Every minority must be protected from the tyranny of the majority, from systemic bias, from blind discrimination. Oxfam stands in solidarity with all Americans—regardless of their ethnicity, religion or country of origin.
We must all do more to protect the advances made, erase the lingering marginalization, and state clearly that hate against one of us is a blow against all of us. We know that political freedom and economic prosperity go hand in hand. We must all join in the movement to right the wrongs of discrimination and hatred in our country.