On Monday, Jahi Wartts, President of Soul Mega, one of DC’s Black-owned breweries posted his thoughts on the murder of George Floyd on Instagram. We requested to publish his words and also heard from Elliott Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of Soul Mega.
Jahi Wartts, President:
George Floyd’s death at the hands of police is a tragedy that continues a long pattern of police violence against black people, not only in Minneapolis, but also in cities all over the United States. Unfortunately these type of deadly incidents and general mistreatment by the police on people of color has become way too commonplace.
I am a native of St. Paul, Minnesota and President of Soul Mega. I love my city. Many of my family members reside in the St. Paul/Minneapolis metro area and I visit home often. As you know protests have erupted across the United States as anger over George Floyd’s death has intensified. There is no justification for his murder and there is just cause for anger.
Healing will be a long and arduous road. The video of George Floyd’s murder still burns vividly in my mind and I am angry. The solidarity of all protestors who are making their voice heard brings me comfort, however. We cannot and will not let injustice go unaddressed. And in this effort, I encourage and support everyone who makes their voices heard within the bounds of the law. I know that people are hurt by this senseless murder. However, show your support for George Floyd in a peaceful manner and honor his memory.
Peace and love,
Elliott Johnson, CEO:
I completely echo Jahi and stand in solidarity with the protestors in DC, around the United States and worldwide in sentencing for the murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and numerous others.
Being Black in America, I have not had the privilege to turn a blind eye to the injustices that my people face. These injustices are a direct result of systemic racism that originates back to Slavery in the 1600s, Segregation, and now the era of Mass Incarceration. With the use of social media and technology, the world has gotten a glimpse in real time of the injustices that we as Black people experience in our society. But it begs to ask the question, if you see what happens on camera, just imagine what happens when cameras are not around?
This is an obvious wake up call for everyone that reform should happen across the board -not only in our policing but in policies on the state and federal levels. Our communities deserve to be invested in, not overly policed by cops or “concerned citizens.”
Reform is not linear. I believe it begins with the overall acknowledgement that systemic racism does in fact exist today in 2020 and continues with our elected officials and American citizens who chose careers that establish and enforce the law. Now is the time for our voice to be heard, so let’s make them hear us.
We are deeply grateful to Elliott and Jahi for sharing their words. Black lives matter.