Though President Obama touched on Ferguson and voting rights in Tuesday night's State of the Union address, many felt that his coverage was minimal. Consequently, a coalition of Black organizations wrote its own State of the Black Union (SOBU) address, which was published on BlackLivesMatter.com. Later, the group, comprised of more than 15 organizations, including Justice League NYC, Millennial Activists United and Black Lives Matter, hosted a Twitter chat to discuss the SOBU.
"Black people are exploited, caged, and killed to profit both the state and big business," the group wrote. "This is a true State of Emergency. There is no place for apathy in this crisis. The US government has consistently violated the inalienable rights our humanity affords." The collective declared that it is time to stand up and address issues, such as the incarceration rate among the Black population, voter restrictions imposed to hinder Black voting rights and the high rate of violence against the Black trans community.
On the site, the coalition laid out a list of 12 demands, including livable wages, an end to the "school to prison pipeline," a more accurate teaching of Black history in schools and "an end to the military industrial complex that incentivizes private corporations to profit off of the death and destruction of Black and Brown communities across the globe."
"We recognize that not even a Black president will pronounce our truths," the group said on its website. "We must continue the task of making American uncomfortable about institutional racism. Together, we will re-imagine what is possible and build a system that is designed for Blackness to thrive."
To read the full declaration, visit BlackLivesMatter.com.