A statement on recent events

This last week has been a horrific reminder of where and who we are as a country. We grieve the loss of people in Buffalo, in Uvalde, in countless attacks across this country and we know that it is not enough to only grieve. 

These attacks are not just random tragedies – they are the result of white supremacist ideologies that have always been the basis of American society. These attacks and the rhetoric around them have been excused over and over again as issues of mental health or lone wolves instead of being understood as what it is: the most extreme end of white supremacy that we have always normalized.

The terrorization and control of people of color, in particular Black people, is foundational in our society and we see it every day, when Black people are murdered when they shop in their local grocery stores, when children are attacked in a school that is 80% Hispanic. Restrictions on reproductive rights, legislation to attack Trans and Queer people, and attempts to ban honest conversations about race in schools are all working to control, constrict and subjugate people of color. Such policy changes are not separate from restrictions for food access that we fight against, such as limiting the kinds of food people can buy with SNAP, or limiting access to school meals through income eligibility requirements. They all come back to control and oppression, and are all the fruit from the same poisoned root of white supremacy.

The attacks in Buffalo, Uvalde, and elsewhere are intentional, and they work to the same end. They disrupt the daily lives of people of color, making their grocery trips, school days, hospital visits, streets and bodies places that are unsafe, making life impossible. 

This is particularly prescient as we have just passed the two-year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd. We see how the lives of people of color are and have been treated as disposable and we must act. White supremacist fascism is being mainstreamed, normalized and becoming more organized. Without taking seriously and actively fighting against white supremacy, all our work is for nothing, we will never make any substantial change. At Hunger-Free Oregon, we will continue to fight hard, naming where we see white supremacy in the systems of food access and working to tear it down. We have the chance now to work against this tide, but we all must fight now in the places we can–and we must fight hard.