INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Black Legislative Caucus released a list of demands in response to an alleged racially-charged attack at Lake Monroe on July 4, in which a Black man said he was pinned against a tree by a white man.
“If you were to count the number of letters the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus has written since March in response to racist acts, you would need both hands. We have written statements for Dreasjon Reed, George Floyd, and against racism in our own Statehouse. It gives none of us joy or satisfaction to have to issued these statements—they are, instead, a painful necessity. We are unable to choose silence or complacency because our lives are at stake. As a caucus, we pride ourselves on being strong advocates for our community but cannot always do it alone. We have grown beyond weary – now we are simply sick and tired of being sick and tired.
“As Fourth of July celebrations come to a close and many stream the musical Hamilton, based on the Founding Fathers’ journey, we as a Black and Brown community are reminded that the principles of freedom many enjoy, celebrate and revel in were not extended to our ancestors. In turn, generations of systemic racism have left an indelible stain on our American Dream.
“This weekend, a young Black man named Vauhxx Booker suffered as a group of Caucasian men attempted to lynch him as if we were in the 1955 Jim Crow South. We wish we could say that our great state has never lynched a soul but unfortunately, that is not the case. Ninety years ago on August 7, 1930 two young Black men were lynched in Marion, IN. It was the hope of activists like Flossie Bailey and the local NAACP that this would be the last lynching to ever happen.
“Just like the community stood together 90 years ago, we too will stand together with the intention of ensuring actionable items come of this horrific hate crime.
“We are demanding:
- the Indiana Department of Natural Resources provide information to law enforcement for a hate crime investigation
- immediate suspension of Department of Natural Resources officers involved pending further investigation
- the Monroe County Prosecutor to bring those involved to swift justice
“It is simply abhorrent that we keep repeating ourselves in our demand for humanity; but as advocates, we will continue to do so until it is no longer needed. Vauhxx should not have to walk through his hometown fearful – no human being deserves the anxiety that Black and Brown people have felt for the last four centuries.
“To ensure justice for all Hoosiers faced with hate, the IBLC will continue to fight for a clear hate crimes law in Indiana that protects everyone.”