The Democratic National Committee passed a resolution Friday afternoon supporting the Black Lives Matter movement at the party’s summer meeting in Minneapolis. The national party also affirmed a resolution supporting same-sex marriage in every state and another honoring the son of Vice President Joe Biden, Beau Biden, who passed away in May.
Activists with the Black Lives Matter movement have agitated Democratic politics in recent months, interrupting speeches by the party’s presidential candidates as they try to force the party to prioritize their issues.
“[T]he DNC joins with Americans across the country in affirming ‘Black lives matter’ and the ‘say her name’ efforts to make visible the pain of our fellow and sister Americans as they condemn extrajudicial killings of unarmed African American men, women and children,” the resolution states.
It also calls for Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform, and calls for minimizing the use of “weapons that were used to police peaceful civilians in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri” last summer.
The statement, which passed the resolutions committee before being affirmed by the full delegation, also calls for the demilitarization of police department. The hope is that Democratic presidential hopefuls will embrace some or all of the resolution language.
The resolution is as follows:
WHEREAS, the Democratic Party believes in the American Dream and the promise of liberty and justice for all, and we know that this dream is a nightmare for too many young people stripped of their dignity under the vestiges of slavery, Jim Crow and White Supremacy; and
WHEREAS, we, the Democratic National Committee, have repeatedly called for race and justice – demilitarization of police, ending racial profiling, criminal justice reform, and investments in young people, families, and communities — after Trayvon Martin, after Michael Brown, after Tamir Rice, after Freddie Gray, after Sandra Bland, after Christian Taylor, after too many others lost in the unacceptable epidemic of extrajudicial killings of unarmed black men, women, and children at the hands of police; and
WHEREAS, we hear the “Black lives matter” cry from the inspiration of creators Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi, and Alicia Garza, and from the heart of a generation of young African Americans who feel totally dismissed and unheard as they are crushed between unlawful street violence and unjust police violence; we salute the courageous young people who participate in the #March2Justice, and we repeat the chant “say her name” to acknowledge the Black women whose stories are often untold and whose cases are unresolved; and
WHEREAS, without systemic reform this state of unrest jeopardizes the well-being of our democracy and our nation;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the DNC joins with Americans across the country in affirming “Black lives matter” and the “say her name” efforts to make visible the pain of our fellow and sister Americans as they condemn extrajudicial killings of unarmed African American men, women and children; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the DNC renews our previous calls to action and urges Congress to adopt systemic reforms at state, local, and federal levels to prohibit law enforcement from profiling based on race, nationality, ethnicity, or religion, to minimize the transfer of excess equipment (like the military-grade vehicles and weapons that were used to police peaceful civilians in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri) to federal and state law enforcement; and to support prevention programs that give young people alternatives to incarceration.