As Malcolm X famously said, the most unprotected person in America is the Black woman. Black women’s bodies in America have been abused, disrespected, objectified, and even murdered, and throughout history, the consequences for those who have attacked them have been obscenely minimal. The announcement of the charging decision in the death of Breonna Taylor is the latest example of this centuries-old reality.
Six months after she died in a hail of bullets in her home, the only charge that has emerged from the police shooting that killed Breonna Taylor is a Class D felony of wanton endangerment. This charge was not levied because of her death, but because of shots fired through a neighbor’s adjoining wall. Sadly, Black women are far too familiar with the condition of wanton endangerment. Our lives have consistently been wantonly endangered on the whims of those who hold power and know that others with power will protect their actions.
While we mourn the injustice of inadequate accountability for Breonna Taylor’s death, Delta Sigma Theta members are reminded that we hold the power in the end.
Black women are one of the most influential and consistent voting blocs in our nation. We must harness that power to elect prosecutors across the nation who will hold true to their pledge to stand “for the people.” The members of Delta Sigma Theta will continue to use our collective voice, votes, intellect, and power to remind our nation’s leaders that if the promise of equal justice under law doesn’t extend to black women, it is invalid for all Americans.
May our sister Breonna Taylor rest in power. Our prayers remain with her family and all those who loved her.
Yours in the bond of sisterhood,
Beverly E. Smith
National President & CEO
1707 New Hampshire Avenue N.W., Washington, DC 20009 | (202) 986 – 2400