For many of us, words cannot truly express the hurt, sadness, and shock we experienced watching the now-viral video of George Floyd’s final moments. The protests, police repression, and conversations that have ensued are a reminder of where we have come from, and how far we must still go.
“There’s really no such thing as the ‘voiceless,'” Arundhati Roy once said. “There are only the deliberately silenced, or the preferably unheard.” Thus, generations of disenfranchisement, violence, impunity, racism, and white supremacy have come to bear. The killing of George Floyd is not isolated. Dozens of cases dot our recent memories. Many more populate our collective consciousness.
It cannot continue. It must not continue.
The National Federation of Community Broadcasters maintains that fairness and justice depend on acknowledging social and historical context. NFCB stands allied with the movement for Black lives. We believe the voices of Black, Indigenous, and people of color must be heard. We are here, ready to listen and support.
Since its founding in 1975, NFCB has held that anti-racist values are core to our work as media organizers. From our 1982 producers of color conference to launching initiatives serving communities of color, we have fought for diversity, equity, and inclusion. NFCB reaffirms that commitment today.
NFCB stands with the Black, indigenous, and leaders of color who have pushed for change and inclusion in all facets of media stewardship, including boards of directors, newsrooms, programming, development, and management. We also stand with those who have called for greater accountability for controversies that have impacted public media in recent years. We believe public and community media can do better. NFCB endeavors to help organizations fulfill that potential.
Current events provide an opportunity for people from historically privileged groups to look both at themselves and the organizations they serve. How can you produce more diverse stories by and about communities of color? How are you listening to historically disenfranchised communities? These questions, among many, are central because they speak to a need for individual and institutional action.
NFCB mourns the death of George Floyd and the loss of Black life. We will not allow racism to soil our communities. We will not allow hate to break our spirits. Instead, we together will build a more equitable future.
The National Federation of Community Broadcasters
June 8, 2020
Updates made to reflect NFCB history.