County Board issues statement in response to historic protests

Monday, June 15, 2020

Following the death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, historic protests are occurring throughout the nation as communities draw together to disavow racism and insist on dismantling the systems that reinforce oppression. The Benton County Board of Commissioners released a statement today affirming their dedication to dismantling systemic racism within Benton County communities and government. 

A portion of the statement reads:

“Systemic racism silences vulnerable communities, overwhelmingly benefits the privileged, and enables those in power to abuse their power at the expense of the marginalized and vulnerable. It exists beyond policing within communities of color. It is often exhibited through gerrymandering, voter suppression, redlining, and other societal structures. All systems that reinforce oppression and racism must be thoroughly examined, changed where needed and rebuilt in coordination with the people that have been historically disenfranchised. This work needs to happen at every level within our County, as well as in concert with our state and federal partners.

The Benton County Board of Commissioners is dedicated to examining racism within Benton County and we are committed to listening to the needs of the communities that we serve.  We have and will continue to have these conversations with our law enforcement partners and our elected legislators. Today we stand in solidarity with our Black community. We affirm that Black lives matter today, yesterday and forever.”

The statement can be read in full below.