On Friday evening, Tony Terrell Robinson was killed by a Madison police officer. Tony was 19 years old, unarmed, Black. He was killed a stone's throw from our office on Willy St., so close that we can see the shining balloons from our windows now, along with the caution tape, and the cars slowing and drivers emerging with tears in their eyes.
Here at the Tenant Resource Center, we see daily proof of the human cost of discrimination and racism. We see how it negates our hope to find housing justice in Wisconsin. We see how it prevents people of color from being safe, both in their homes and on the streets. We know that when Black lives are valued, all of us will be safer.
We have been so moved to see the outpouring of love and support from the neighborhood and surrounding Madison community these past four days. If you would like to join the community's grassroots efforts, you can follow the Ferguson to Madison group on Facebook.
This killing was not in our backyards. It was in our front yard. And we are taking it personally.
From Dr. King, 50 years ago: "And again the brutality of a dying order shrieks across the land. Yet, Selma, Alabama, became a shining moment in the conscience of man. If the worst in American life lurked in its dark streets, the best of American instincts arose passionately from across the nation to overcome it." We hope Tony's death will be the fire, and that what rises up from the ashes makes us proud to live in this city and this state.
Wishing you all strength and solidarity, from all of us at Tenant Resource Center.