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The path we're on has led us here. We must choose a better one.

The protests around the country in the wake of George Floyd's murder aren't the result of communities of color saying "enough" to police brutality, or tensions pushed to the breaking point.

We passed those markers long ago. For centuries, Black Americans and other Americans of color have been brutalized and oppressed by an unjust system.

We can and must rid our justice system of institutional racism. We will not truly have liberty and justice for all until every American is treated equally under the law.

These protests aren't a wake-up call or a cry for help. They're an indictment of extraordinary injustice, racism, and of those who have looked the other way from uncomfortable realities about systemic oppression.

Earlier this week, Donald Trump gave a fascist speech about "law and order," as heavily armed law enforcement tear gassed peaceful protesters outside the White House. All for a photo op. I never thought I would witness an American president use authoritarian tactics against their own citizens.

This is a traumatic and heartbreaking moment for our country. But seeing so many passionate people standing up for what is right and what they believe gives me hope. Peaceful protests have been the catalyst of change before, and can be again.

In the meantime, please consider donating to these organizations that are helping support peaceful protesters on the ground and working to rid our systems of racial injustice.

It's the time for each of us to take our own action and listen, amplify, and support. And I commit to do everything I can to make the reforms desperately needed to end police brutality and the institutional racism that persists within our justice system and beyond.

The path we're on has led us here. We must choose a better one.

In solidarity,

Ron

Posted on June 4, 2020.

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Ron Wyden & Jeff Merkley at a health care rallyRon Wyden is a champion for our progressive values -- standing up for consumers and the middle class, fighting for digital privacy and an open internet, protecting our planet and Oregon's special places, and always insisting on human rights and equality for all.

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