Black Lives Matter Bloomington 2018 Midterm Election Statement
Black Lives Matter would like to thank all candidates that participated in our political outreach programs like our Midterm Voter’s Guide and “A Seat at the Table.” We made an impact locally by educating the electorate about their choices in this election, but we couldn’t have done so without your participation. Though Indiana did not add to the wave of progressive people of color and women elected last night, we know that true progress isn’t far behind when we all work together toward shared goals. Yes, we are disappointed that more candidates of color were not elected locally and regionally yesterday, but that does not mean they won’t win in the future. What it means is that we must rally behind those marginalized voices as they have in other states and do more to support people of color, and in particular women of color, to win.
BLM asks that all candidates elected to office yesterday to begin immediately engaging BLM and other groups supporting marginalized people in ongoing dialogue about how best to create and uphold policies that will help marginalized folks during the struggles to come under the current regime. Don’t wait for us to come to you with a problem -- come to us now and make meeting our needs a priority. Extensive damage control is always avoided by a little forethought, and we encourage you to listen to dissenting voices now. Don’t dismiss them -- embrace them and learn from them.
Now that the midterm election is over, the real work begins! As residents of Bloomington, we must hold our newly and existing elected officials accountable for their actions and to us the people of Bloomington, Indiana and the United States of America. It is time to start looking at the process of voting as base level harm reduction, while understanding that lasting progress results from direct community action. Direct action happens when the community comes together to force the hand of justice and the government towards progress and equity by removing the systematic barriers for all people, and especially for those whose voices are marginalized. We ask that those who are feeling deflated because of the election to come to terms with their grief by realizing that no politician can make or break any movement towards freedom as long as we are working together, and that those of us who were struggling yesterday and the day before are still struggling today and will continue to struggle tomorrow regardless of the election outcome.
We implore you to understand that our struggles are systemic in nature and we need to get to the root of these issues in order to remove them. For Black Lives Matter, we identify these core issues as the inherent racism in our country and the growing fascist threats, exemplified by the apathy and outright hatred provoked by our simple statement that “Black Lives Matter.” We appeal to those discouraged by the election results in Indiana to not only look to other states for encouragement, but to recognize that wallowing is a privileged that must be renounced by taking up the cause of direct action for those most marginalized and most affected by the outcome of the election.
Now is the time to organize and support black and brown folks, women in all shapes sizes and presentation, LGBTQ folks, immigrant, refugee and migrant folks, and all those underrepresented and undeserved. By support, we mean elevating their voices rather than speaking for them, by helping them to the front, giving them your seat at the table, and letting them set the terms for what progress means. Again, we are grateful for all of those who shared, liked and used the Midterm Voter’s Guide, viewed and learned from the “A Seat at the Table” round-table discussion and all those who help make those programs happen from the candidates to our committed BLM volunteers and Core Council. We have more initiatives that need support in the coming months and as the year turn. Please email us for ways to get involved or join us on Facebook for updates and calls to direct action.
~Black Lives Matter Core Council 11-07-18
Voter's Guide Here
Black Lives Matter Bloomington's produced its 1st voter guide for the 2018 Primary. The primary candidates were invited to answer our questionnaire regarding issues relevant to the Black community's well-being. To continue to inform the voters we have launched another candidate questionnaire for the November Midterm 2018 Election. Please follow us on Facebook and via our website to see the the answers from the candidates and our completed Midterm Voter's Guide.