We are devastated to hear of the tragic deaths of Angela Carr, 52, Anolt Laguerre, Jr., 19, and Jerrald De’Shaun Gallion, 29, who were specifically targeted and killed in an act of domestic terrorism by a white supremacist in the state of Florida. This heinous act not only stole precious lives but also struck another blow against the Black community, amplifying the anxiety and terror we endure on a daily basis.
It is disheartening and infuriating that we find ourselves yet again having to condemn violence against Black people. This act is a sad reminder that anti-Black racism continues to manifest in the most deadly ways, disrupting the lives, families, and communities it touches.
We stand in solidarity with the families of the victims, as well as the broader community that is grieving. Your pain is our pain; your loss is our loss.
We note with grave concern that this act of violence occurs within a political landscape where the state of Florida has enacted policies that disproportionately affect and marginalize Black communities. We condemn in the strongest terms any policy or rhetoric that perpetuates racial disparities, hate, and discrimination. Scholars like Valeria Sinclair Chapman have emphasized that symbols and language matter, and we agree that the harmful rhetoric from some leaders, including Governor Ron DeSantis, contributes to a hostile climate. This man has targeted African Americans at every level. He has arrested racial minorities for voting, attempted to gaslight African Americans by engaging in a revisionist approach to history, and has even tried to stop professors from providing expert testimony against the state.
It is not enough to stand in solidarity. We must continue the vital work of advocating for structural changes that address the root causes of racial injustice. For our members, we urge you to remain vigilant and safe, and to continue centering the work of Black liberation in your scholarship and community activism.
To our NCOBPS family, we value and love each and every one of you. Let’s honor the memories of Angela Carr, Anolt Laguerre, Jr., and Jerrald De’Shaun Gallion by redoubling our efforts to fight for a more just and equitable society.
In Strength and Solidarity,Emmitt Y. Riley, III, President
National Conference of Black Political Scientists