On behalf of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, we extend our deepest condolences to the family of the brave Heather Heyer, a former restaurant worker turned paralegal, who lost her life standing up for racial equity. As an organization that represents over 25,000 worker members, over 200 restaurant employers and thousand of restaurant consumers along with America’s 14 million restaurant workers, we are grateful to Ms. Heyer and to all those who oppose white oppression in all its forms.
ROC United opposes all forms of white oppression and racism. We stand for racial and economic equality for all, and we reclaim the moral center of our nation.
But white oppression run amok should come as no surprise.
We are living under an Administration that campaigned on hatred, discrimination, and xenophobia. Trump and company have given permission and a platform for bigots, like the right-wing, white nationalists in Charlottesville, to flourish and spread terror.
We are living in a nation that continues to systematically oppress people of color. White oppression includes the racist systems in America, in which almost all of us are complicit; and at ROC United, we refuse to only call out the most extreme racists. We oppose all forms of racial injustice and white oppression and demand equality and equity for all people in this country.
In the absence of a moral, capable leader, it is up to us—those who believe in racial equality for all— to reclaim the moral center.
We denounce President Trump for inciting racial hatred, defunding the Countering Violent Extremism program, focusing on foreign terrorism while domestic racial hatred continues to tear our country apart, and placing Steve Bannon, a symbol of white oppression, in the White House.
As we at ROC United reclaim the moral center due to a vacuum of leadership, we call for these clear steps in the right direction of racial equality and the end of white oppression:
- We call on the White House to focus the government’s Countering Violent Extremism program on white terrorists here in this nation. Domestic terrorism and white oppression go hand in hand.
- We call on the President to take the concrete step to remove Steve Bannon from the White House and from his team of advisers. We also call on the White House to end its relationship with any other white oppressors.
- We call on the White House to end white oppression in all its forms.
- We demand One Fair Wage, the elimination of the lower wage for tipped workers that exacerbates racial inequality in the restaurant industry.
Again, we recognize that there is a vacuum of morality emboldening white oppressors. And this cannot stand.
We must all help to eliminate the white oppression that divides Americans. We need to collectively create a post-white oppression America. Until that America arrives, ROC United will continue to fight for economic prosperity and racial equality for all. For today, ROC United stands strong with our friends in Charlottesville who are standing for peace in the face of racial hatred. We are and will continue to be unwavering in the fight against white oppression, hatred, and discrimination – and we are just getting started.
Saru, Mamdouh and the ROC United Team