We find ourselves in one of the toughest times in our country’s history.
We continue to battle a deadly pandemic and the resulting economic havoc while, once again, coming face-to-face with the long-term effects of racial injustice. The recent events, in the wake of the senseless murder of George Floyd, have left all of us at Fine, Farkash and Parlapiano feeling a wide range of emotion, from grief to outrage. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. Police brutality and the murders of unarmed Black people are examples of the racism our country has perpetuated, despite attempts by many to redress the wrongs inflicted on our fellow black citizens as a result of slavery.
We have lost too many lives: George Floyd, Nina Pop, David McAtee, Rekia Boyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Shantel Davis, Mya Hall, Alexia Christian, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, and Michael Brown — to name just a few. In recent years we have seen an alarming rise in this deadly racism. Police misconduct and brutality must be stopped.
All people are created equal with unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We at FFP share that belief and further believe that to deny any person access to justice or liberty on the basis of the color of their skin, breaks the promise of America. Even in the face of unrest, it is uplifting to witness people across the nation peacefully protesting under the rights given to them through the 1st Amendment of our Constitution, all in an effort to end the killing of unarmed black people and all people of color in our nation. It is up to us to seize this opportunity to channel the pain of discrimination into long overdue action to eliminate systematic racism, forge a “more perfect” union, and extend the promise of our nation to all Americans.
As a small community business, we have always strived for equal treatment for people of color in our firm, of our clients, and in our legal community. But like many in recent days, we’ve been asking ourselves: How can we do more to combat systemic racism?
We are starting very simply. We are listening. We are listening to our community, our nation and the world as a whole as they come together in protest. We are so proud of our local community and its activism. We invite you to join us in this learning process. We cannot stay silent as our community feel the heaviness of this grief. We believe a key part of our mission is to help improve our community.
Below are some resources:
- Implicit Bias Association Test
- Racial Equity Tools
- What White People Can Do For Racial Justice
- How You Can Be an Ally in the Fight for Racial Justice
- Anti-Racism Resource – Google Doc Roundup
As for FFP, we are dedicated not only to avoiding racism, but to fighting it and striving every day to be anti-racist. Furthermore, we are committed to making sure folks we partner with and who we patronize, also share in our values. Dr. King once said, ‘It may be true that morality cannot be legislated, but behavior can be regulated. The law may not change the heart, but it can restrain the heartless.’ We will work with others to enact laws where appropriate to combat and address racial discrimination. In pledging to do better, we have asked our entire firm to help in choosing the organizations where FFP will donate, and we will keep you posted on our donations. We will continue to learn from our internal and external community and will share the linking for the organizations our firm choses to support, as well as other ways you can get involved beyond donations.
Most importantly, we are committed to making this effort the beginning of a more in-depth continuous conversation about race, justice, and equality. This is not part of a political agenda, but a commitment to being an environment where difficult yet necessary conversations are both allowed and encouraged.
All lives cannot matter, until Black Lives Matter.
As we fight our way through the pandemics of both the viral and oppressive varieties, as always…When Life Changes, We’re There.