The following is a statement from Amy Keith, program director for Common Cause Florida, following the shooting deaths Saturday of three people at a Dollar General store in Jacksonville, Fla. All three victims were Black and police have described this as a racially-motivated hate crime perpetrated by a white shooter, who shot and killed himself.
“We at Common Cause Florida share in the heartbreak and outrage at the intentional and racist killings of Angela Carr, Anolt Laguerre, Jr. and Jerrald De’Shaun Gallion in Jacksonville this weekend.
These killings came 60 years after a quarter-million people arrived for the March on Washington and bravely called for a better America. That march was a clarion call to extend long overdue voting and civil rights to Black Americans.
But here in Florida, Black Floridians are still fighting to be heard. In the past two years, there have been targeted attempts from state legislative leaders and Gov. Ron DeSantis to diminish, erase and silence the experiences of Black Floridians through the whitewashing of the history taught to our children, intimidation and attacks on voting rights, and unfair voting maps that undercut the power of Black Floridians.
These attempts to erase Black history and Black votes are not separate from the violence unleashed this weekend. Both are rooted in racism. To move forward, our state leaders must take responsibility for acknowledging, uprooting and extinguishing this hatred.
We at Common Cause Florida extend our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those who lost their lives and join with our many partners around the state in condemning this hate crime. We will double down in our efforts to build a better democracy free of the insidious reach of racism. “