On National Gun Violence Awareness Day (June 5th), we #WearOrange to bring attention to the deadly intersection of racism, white supremacy, and gun violence in America, where Black people are 10 times more likely to die by gun homicide than white people. In 2018 in North Carolina, 67% of all firearm homicide victims were among Black people: 285 men and 44 women of the 489 total firearm homicide victims.
We also want to be clear: police violence is gun violence. As anti-violence advocates, we condemn all forms of violence, including violence carried out by law enforcement. Nationally, police killings are approximately the same now as they were in 2013. The same is true in NC over a similar period: there were 22 legal intervention deaths in 2012, and 21 in 2017. This violence also includes an unknown number of serious injuries like the ones we have seen this week in cities across NC and the entire country.
Cities across North Carolina are rising up in protest against the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many, many other Black Americans by police and others in positions of power throughout our history.
We echo the call for reforming the system of policing that clearly has a different standard of response to people of color than people who are white, and which emboldens known white supremacist organizations. We saw it in Raleigh, where armed white protesters were welcome on streets and at a Subway, while Black protesters were met with batons, shields, rubber bullets, and tear gas.
So on this #WearOrange day, more than any other day of remembrance and action against gun violence, we are with our communities, our state, and the world, in loudly proclaiming Black Lives Matter. We stand up and speak out today for Ahmaud Arbery; George Floyd; Breonna Taylor; and Hadiya Pendleton, in whose memory this awareness day was created; and the many other Black lives lost, hurt, and afraid because of police and gun violence.