Fighting Racism With Solidarity
The fight against racism is inherently a fight for solidarity.
The international rebellion following the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police has provoked a renewed discussion about racism and its role around the world. There have been protests, work stoppages, and debate in every workplace and union, and within MNA, discussions of how fighting racism has to be central to our identity, strategy, and role. These discussions can be challenging, but they are critical to building a 21st century union capable based on solidarity, unity, and with the aim of creating equal and greater power for all.
Nurses of color experience racism routinely on the job. Their skills are minimized. They are passed up for positions of leadership and responsibility. They experience racism from their colleagues and management and have expressed that fighting racism has been given only a minimal emphasis within MNA itself. None of this is tolerable, and all of it functions to keep Black, Indigenous People of Color marginalized. It divides us as workers and weakens our unity and power. In the end racism is exploited by management to keep us fragmented, disorganized, and inert.
The fight against racism and other repressions (gender, sexuality) has to be central to the mission and daily functions of MNA. Through education, forums for discussion and listening, promoting nurses of color into decision making roles within the union, and by training all of our over 1200 MNA stewards in antiracist work, we can build a union that is diverse and powerful and informed by the task of building power and equality for us all.