FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Belinda Drake Statement on the Attempted Lynching and Assault of Vauhxx Booker
Indianapolis, IN – (July 6, 2020)
The video of the brutal beating and attempted lynching of Vauhxx Booker that was shared yesterday is further evidence of the continued harm to Black and Brown Americans as a result of over 400 years of racism in America. Black and Brown Hoosiers should not have to fear for their lives, only to have them ripped away through the use of vigilante force and violence. Our communities know all too well that this could’ve happened to any of us and that is a deep hurt for the Black community and one that we continue to bear. The time has come for real change.
Today, I am grateful for the strength and resilience of Vauhxx Booker. I am grateful that he is able to share the experience of this lived trauma, even though he should never have to. No one should ever be subjected to this particular kind of vigilante terrorism that is rooted in hate and fear, rooted in a power structure that no caring or decent person would ever support. Some might think that Vauhxx is lucky, and I just disagree. The fact is that he never should’ve had to go through this: he nor any Black Americans shouldn’t have to be “lucky” to not get lynched in America today.
Today, I am thankful that he is alive. I’ve been speaking with Vauhxx about what happened and how I can help, how our community can help. For those that don’t know, Vauhxx is someone who actively does the work of creating structural change in our communities. He is someone who is willing to take on deeply entrenched power structures. He is motivated by a bold vision of an equitable America and he takes action to create an America that lives up to the ideals of justice and freedom for all. While he and I are separated by an hour drive and we live in two different cities, I’m proud to be connected to him through a shared vision and in doing this essential work of changemaking in our communities.
What happened to Vauhxx is inhumane and unjust and I want everyone to know that I am joining him in a fight for justice using the legal system: this is what he has asked all of us to do. I ask you to join in that fight as well. As more information becomes available in the days and weeks ahead, we all will be called to help Vauhxx in the way that he asks us to and through his leadership. We must continue to walk down the path of justice and freedom together because as Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “No one is free until we are all free.”
I cannot comprehend the kind of trauma and grief that Vauhxx is living with and feeling at this very moment. The haunting reality is that he has lived through this and he knows that thousands of other Black Americans before him have not. I know that this trauma will be carried with him for the rest of his life and he is changed forever. I will continue to lift up Vauhxx, his family, and his friends in prayer in the months and years to come. I hope that he will be able to find healing in peace in his life.
The time has come for real work and progress on these issues. We have the ability to make change that ends vigilante terrorism and violence but we must have bold leaders who are committed to doing the work, bold leaders who will take on the dysfunctional systems and create new American systems that respect the humanity and liberty of all Hoosiers and Americans.
This attempted lynching and brutal beating are rooted in a system of hate that must be undone. It is forefront on my mind that this will test the bounds and effectiveness of the recently approved Indiana hate crimes legislation. We all should be attentive to any limitations in that law and we must work to remedy them immediately in 2021. As your State Senator, I will support legislation for a comprehensive hate crimes bill that would ensure that this kind of hate does not continue as an injustice. We have a lot of work to do in Indiana. As State Senator, I won’t just fight for change, I will lead it.
To learn more about Belinda Drake’s campaign for Indiana State Senate or to get started as a volunteer in the Field Captain program, visit www.belindadrake.com and connect with the campaign on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using the hashtag #BelieveINBelinda.
About Belinda Drake for Indiana State Senate:
Belinda Drake is a progressive Democratic candidate for Indiana State Senate in District 32. Committed to putting people over politics, Belinda will serve her communities with a bold and inclusive vision to bring positive change and progress for the people of Senate District 32 and for all Hoosiers. Belinda was born and raised in Gary, IN, and has been a resident and member of the far eastside Indianapolis community for the last 3 years. Belinda graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in political science and a minor in legal studies from IUPUI and has worked on the campaign trail for United States Congressman Andre Carson, Indiana State Senator J.D. Ford, City Councilor Crista Carlino, and many other Democratic party candidates at the state and local levels. Belinda has served on the board for the Indiana Stonewall Democrats and as the treasurer for the Lawrence Township Democrats. Belinda currently serves as the 7th District Chair for the Indiana Young Democrats, as the Racial Justice & Diversity Coordinator for Indiana NOW (National Organization for Women), and as a National Delegate for the Indiana Democratic Party to the 2020 Democratic National Convention.
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