“When you see something that is not right, not just, not fair, you have a moral obligation to say something. To do something. Our children and their children will ask us, ‘What did you do? What did you say?’ These humble words were spoken by the late Civil Rights leader and Congressional Representative to the state of Georgia, John Lewis.
And like Congressmen Lewis, this is our time to speak up about what is already evident: white supremacy is real and pervasive. The Mueller Neighborhood Association (MNA) Steering Committee and Equity Team reassert our support for and uncompromising solidarity with our BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color), Jewish, Muslim, LGBTQ+, Transgender, and other marginalized communities against White supremacy ideologies and actions.
Anti-immigrant, white nationalist, homophobic/transphobic, Islamophobic, and anti-Semitic groups continue to organize, and we have witnessed a current resurgence of aggressive forms of white supremacist militancy around the US. Sadly, our very own neighborhood and other surrounding neighborhoods (Cherrywood, Hancock, and Hyde Park) were subjected to hate speech recently when fliers with white supremacist propoganda were posted in front of our neighbor’s doors. We must approach actions like this with the gravitas it requires. We know the purpose of these groups’ racist rhetoric is to curtail the capacity and willingness of BIPOC to exercise their freedoms and enjoy their right to a safe and peaceful living environment.
White supremacy and its historical legacy in Austin remain too often unnamed or hidden with all the blame assigned to “a few bad players” or “hate groups.” As a result, conversations are easily deflected away from BIPOC voices and towards abstract conversations about “free speech” with the effect of allowing white nationalists to claim victimhood and occupy the center of public debate.
In this moment we must first look at ourselves and ask, “in what way have I contributed to this problem?” Next, we must ask, “What can I do to make things better and be a part of the solution in my family, in my community, in my country?” Then we need to end our silence and cast off our apathy, move past our critiques, and take positive actions to effect change.
We are committed to continuing to find new ways to teach, study, and work toward justice. We welcome your participation in this journey. The MNA Equity Team was founded nearly a year ago and in that time has done much research and outreach, has hosted a series of anti-racism book studies, and has organized an anti-racism training for neighborhood leaders, with another coming soon. Please reach out to your neighbors, Joy Butler and Shelly Baldwin, if you are interested in joining the movement and getting your voices heard. You can reach them at [email protected]
Whether you are trying to process the trauma of this moment, or seeking to unplug and escape the hurt you are feeling, or searching for constructive dialogue and social justice resources to jump into action and planning, please know we are here to support you. A better world is possible, and together we will work to create it.
In Love, Peace, and Solidarity
Mueller Neighborhood Association
FINALIZED AND ADOPTED BY THE MNA STEERING COMMITTEE ON MARCH 18th, 2022