Originally sent in an email to our supporters
June 2, 2020
Dear Friend of H.O.M.E.,
We at Housing Opportunities and Maintenance for the Elderly grieve with Black Americans today. “All life is interrelated,” as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said. “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. What affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” H.O.M.E. deplores all acts of violence inflicted on human beings for any reason, not least because of the color of their skin.
We serve primarily Black seniors on the south and west sides of Chicago. Our home repair, moving, shopping bus, and volunteer programs are a lifeline for them in neighborhoods with deplorably scarce access to vital resources. This is no accident but the result of nearly a century of racially-motivated political decisions that gave preferential treatment to white areas while siphoning wealth from Black families and businesses.
Today, Black Chicagoans are the group most afflicted by COVID-19, with unacceptable rates of infection, inadequate care in nursing homes, hunger, and job loss. 70 percent of the first 100 Chicagoans who died of COVID-19 were African American.
The killing of George Floyd in plain sight under police custody in Minneapolis is the latest of what has been proven time and again as a disproportionate use of force against Black people in every corner of this nation.
This must stop now.
We have the power to establish the Beloved Community that Dr. King spoke of, that place of equality for all. It takes political courage and social empathy; and white Americans in leadership positions have a responsibility to listen to and amplify Black voices. Because this system of “racialized inequality” was created by people, it can be taken down by people.
We have done it. Through sheer force of numbers and a racially integrated protest, police had to make way for the people who traveled from all over the country to stand with the Black community of Selma to cross that Edmund Pettus Bridge and march to Montgomery. As a result, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was enacted.
We can do it. H.O.M.E. supports initiatives that promote neighborhood reinvestment, equity and inclusion, and justice for Black Americans – indeed, we all have a right to be treated with profound respect.
Thank you for all you do to promote racial justice and reconciliation. No gesture of humanity is too small and no heart is too big.