By the Martin Luther King Jr. Committee of Santa Barbara

The Martin Luther King Jr. Committee of Santa Barbara is appalled and saddened by the deaths of George Floyd, Armaud Arbery, Breona Taylor and so many others who have met an untimely death. Unfortunately, deaths of this nature have occurred routinely in African American communities across the country. Many have met death at the hands of inhumane police officers who are often not held accountable. 

Our justice system needs to be committed to change enforcing fairness and equality for everyone. More people are joining the demand for equal rights and taking a firm stand against such injustices. We sincerely hope this will be the turning point for real change in our communities. We may then see the fruition of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” 

Standing in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, Santa Barbara, we support the list of demands presented to local government regarding transparency and accountability of policing policies, preservation of local historical African American landmarks, and institutional support for the Juneteenth (June 19) Celebration. We feel these demands are reasonable and attainable. Our city must recognize the role and contributions made by African Americans, many of whom have lived in this community for generations and have contributed to its development and growth. 

We are genuinely concerned about the current coronavirus pandemic and how it continues to highlight challenges in the healthcare system. To address these concerns MLKSB is planning a virtual town hall meeting that will address healthcare disparities and the devastating impact the pandemic has had on people of color. We are also preparing for the MLK holiday on Jan. 18, 2021, and the preceding series of events. 

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