Statement by PPI President Will Marshall

As someone who grew up in the Jim Crow South, I know that progress toward racial justice and concord is possible in America. I’ve seen it happen. I also know that social progress is neither linear nor inevitable. Progress stalls, people backslide, old prejudices find new ways to express themselves. Even well-intentioned Americans lose focus, become complacent and stop grappling with the legacy and persistence of racism in our country.

The depraved killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and too many more black Americans remind us that we can never stop struggling for racial justice. The PPI community is aggrieved and sickened by these deaths, and by the despicable conduct of a president who stokes racial fear and animosity for political gain. Our hearts go out to the families of the victims, and to all African-American citizens who worry with reason about their safety and that of their families.

In coming weeks, PPI will work to develop new ideas for tackling the systemic racism that seems so stubbornly embedded in the nation’s institutions. 

We also encourage you to read these heartfelt words by former President Bill Clinton, who has never lost faith in America’s ability to keep moving forward towards racial justice and reconciliation.

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