April 21, 2021
I hope everyone is doing well today. Yesterday Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murdering George Floyd. These events over the last 10+ months have impacted all of us differently. Even though this is not new in America I was still shocked at the audacity of the murderer and his accomplices. Justice was served in this instance with three guilty verdicts. Given the past history in America we want to celebrate yesterday’s events. The jurors did the right thing.
I believe we still have much work to do. A coalition of like-minded citizens demanded justice. But we are calling for justice in the ‘end game’. George Floyd died last year. However, a short time before the verdict for Derek Chauvin was announced, a 16 year old Black girl was shot and killed in Columbus, OH by the police. This is why we must continue our quest for equity, our quest for justice.
Systemic racism is the common thread that runs through the fabric of America. Racism is borne out of ignorance and becomes learned behavior. It is not hereditary. Racism does not stop at the door of the IBEW. There are current efforts to eliminate that racism in the IBEW and NECA, our management partners in construction in the U.S. Unfortunately there have been many instances on our jobsites in the U.S. and Canada that wreak of racism in the past few years. The EWMC has documented some of these incidents. That brings us back to the murder of George Floyd. The video and audio evidence was compelling. The data revealed the truth that we already knew existed. This was not a first but justice was served because of the data.
We know these overt examples of racism exist on our job sites not only in construction but also professional and industrial. We also know micro-aggressions continue as well. However, the data is critical to validating these incidents and the frequency. REMEMBER, IF THERE IS NO DATA, IT DIDN'T HAPPEN.
The EWMC created a form for documenting these incidents. The Incident Report form requires first that the local union has been notified of the incident. Then the form must be filled out with evidence attached. Photos are excellent evidence, we all carry cell phones. You can also use your phone to make audio notes that can be transcribed. The completed form is then sent to the EWMC and forwarded to the IBEW Civic and Community Engagement Department. This completes the circle. The Incident Report form can be completed by clicking here.
We must always remember that when we are confronted with these workplace incidents of racism and violence we must deescalate. Always act in a safe and responsible manner.
Keith Edwards, EWMC President
Page Last Updated: Apr 21, 2021 (08:17:36)