The longest serving Indian American lawmaker suggests honest conversations to bring about lasting change.
Expressing solidarity with peaceful protesters against the death of a black man in police custody, Indian American Congressman Ami Bera has called for an open dialogue to heal “the wounds of racial injustice.”
As America continued to reel under the worst civil unrest in decades sparked by the death of George Floyd under the knee of a white policeman in Minneapolis on May 25, Bera highlighted the “systemic racism” faced by the African American community.
“The death of George Floyd at the hands of police brutality is unconscionable,” stated the son of immigrants from the Indian state of Gujarat, who has represented California’s 7th congressional district since 2013.
“His death has again brought to the forefront of the American conscience the systemic racism and inequities that members of the African American community face every day,” said Bera in a media release Tuesday.
The Democratic lawmaker noted that thousands of Americans of different ages and races have marched across the country to demand justice for Floyd’s death and call “for change to a system that for too long has left behind marginalized communities.”
“For many communities of color, especially the African American community,” said Bera, “their reality is a discriminatory criminal justice system, disparities in economic opportunity, education, and housing, and a global pandemic that disproportionately impacts their health.”
Expressing “solidarity with all those who are peacefully protesting and demanding change,” he said, “Please know that your voice is important, and you are heard.”
As an elected representative in Congress, Bera said he would “continue to listen, learn, and advocate for policies that address police violence and racial inequities.”
The lawmaker said he looked forward to working with all community leaders across his constituency of Sacramento “to learn how we can better advocate for sustained change.”
Bera said he would continue to engage with other lawmakers and the Congressional Black Caucus to push for federal legislation to address police violence.
“We must continue to have open, honest – and sometimes uncomfortable – conversations about race and inequality in America, and the steps we must take to get to lasting change,” he said. “Together, we can begin to heal the wounds of racial injustice.”