FORT WORTH, TX — 2020 was a year that revealed to millions of white and white-privileged people in the United States the structural and material racist systems impacting the day-to-day and minute-to-minute lives of Black people in this country. In the words of Black feminist activist Angela Davis, “We are doing now what should have been done in the aftermath of slavery.” The contours of today’s anti-Blackness derive directly from the aftermath of slavery, an aftermath that was never structurally addressed much less resolved. The violence of chattel slavery is a mode of violence that is still in operation today in the white supremacist zoning and development practices in the City of Fort Worth. We must keep our foot on the gas. We must enact new and better forms of local government, and that starts right here in Fort Worth’s 9th City Council District.
Even if you have only recently started to intentionally practice an anti-racist political stance, the work you are doing is necessary in order for us to create a new living future together–here in Fort Worth and beyond. Your self-work and your community work has not gone unnoticed.
Elizabeth Beck, candidate for Fort Worth City Council District 9, has recently publicized her campaign’s position on policing and race in the City. While we recognize Beck’s intention to promote the importance of “community policing,” her campaign website states that she “will work with the Fort Worth Police to end systemic racism that results in unequal treatment for people of color in our community.” Beck’s position on policing not only ignores the reality that working directly with the police to end systemic racism is impossible, but it decenters Black and brown activism and centers the police in these conversations. Although we understand that “community policing” may well be a “step in the right direction,” we believe that Black community activists must be centered in this ongoing moment of social and political upheaval.
Not only have thousands of Black people been displaced from their own communities in District 9, but many of those displaced find themselves overpoliced by the very police force that claims to be working to “protect and serve” them.
In order for us to create lasting and structural changes in this city, we have to elect leaders whose lived experiences qualify them to represent the people at this crucial time for our city, our state, and our country.
Jordan Mims, community-accountable activist and candidate for City Council District 9, has pledged not to accept any donations from the Fort Worth Police Officers Association. As District 9’s next City Council member, Jordan will support community-led initiatives to return oversight of the CCPD and its funding to Black and brown communities that are unevenly impacted by police violence.