With yesterday’s verdict, many in our nation are experiencing a collective state of shock and dismay in response to the outcome of a Kentucky Grand Jury inquiry into the killing of Breonna Taylor. There is again a profound sense that her Black life did not matter, because no charges directly addressing her death were levied. Given that she was wounded multiple times while not posing a threat, the fact that there is no accountability for her loss is indeed untenable.

The Men of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity share in the grief, anxiety and outrage surging across the country. However, as a Brotherhood of Conscious Men Actively Serving Our Communities, we urge our fellow Americans to avoid succumbing to despair, anger and chaos in reaction to this unfortunate news. Instead, we affirm that Ms. Taylor’s inexcusable killing and the attendant miscarriage of justice truly deserve a renewal of our community’s resolve to effect meaningful change from within our system. We must stay the course of the fight for civil rights that has persisted for nearly a century despite thousands of similar tragedies.

The Social Action crusade Sigma began in 1934 to combat lynching and ensure fair and equitable treatment in this country is even more crucial today. For most of the Civil Rights struggle political participation was not available for all, but in this modern era, we have an awesome tool at our disposal to help realize this goal—Project Vote. Now, everyone has the ability to effect real reform. Since the system has failed to make necessary corrections to how policing is carried out or how the courts render justice, WE, AS A COMMUNITY, have a spiritual mandate to take to the polls and elect those who will restore integrity to the process. This unjust decision should sound a rallying cry for all of us to get to the polls and aid others in doing likewise.

In the Black National Anthem, Bro. James Weldon Johnson both laments and rejoices that: “We have come over a way that with tears has been watered, We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered; Out from the gloomy past, till now we stand at last Where the white gleam of our star is cast.”
In spite of the horrifying slew of extrajudicial killings and racially tinged murders we’ve been subjected to in 2020, we must commit to fighting the good fight through the heartache and pain we feel, in order to “March On, ‘Til Victory Is Won.”

Brotherhood First,

Hon. Bro. Micheal E. Cristal,
International President