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For Gerald Kariem, Juneteenth feels even more special in Detroit. So many successful Black Americans today are descendants of the millions of men and women who left the south for work in the north starting back in 1916 to build Ford cars.
Today, we take time to honor the memory of our lost brother, George Floyd. We will sit still, we will put down our tools and silence our phones for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. A full eight minutes and 46 seconds -- the agonizing amount of time that Mr. Floyd lay on the pavement begging for his life.
Dear Sisters and Brothers, As trade unionists and as Americans, we were outraged and heartsick at the horror of George Floyd’s death on May 25. It was yet another tragedy in a long and sorrowful history of the divisiveness of racism in this nation. Since that day in communities from coast to coast, we have seen Americans from all walks of life, black, brown and white, stand together to demand change. To demand – finally – that we address the systemic racial divide that has plagued our nation since its inception.
My Sisters and Brothers, I want to begin this message by recognizing the strength and courage of this union and each and every one of you. These past couple of months have been extraordinarily difficult for all of us — and for all of America. And as we work to open up our economy and go back to work, I know there are so many concerns and fears.