#BlackLivesMatter & #AllLivesMatter

June 2020

 

DELAYED.

Yes, you can call it that or you can call it NUMB, STUNNED or DEAD.

As a woman, an elected woman, an elected woman of color, an elected woman of Hmong descent, the first elected person of Hmong descent to County Supervisor in California, I represent at multiple levels receiving multiple perspectives. It’s what I signed up for. Let me also share WHY I signed up: RACIAL EQUITY and PRIVILEGE.


DELAYED.

As a grassroots organizer, recognizing I did not and do not officially hold that title (but who needs to be “official” when you organize for the benefit of your community…?) and not the community organizer you might identify with, it should be obvious through my previous (pre-election) actions and current actions that I stand with our people and for our people.

My volunteer work started twenty-one years ago with Healthy House Within a MATCH Coalition focused on culture and health equity. In 2010, I started a journey with Leadership Development in Inter-Ethnic Relations, shortly thereafter, trained to be a facilitator focusing on LGBTQ+, isms and race. In 2013, I went on an amazing journey with the American Leadership Forum - Great Valley Chapter. In addition, I started focusing directly on addressing the social determinants of health with community volunteers. In 2015 at two different community events, volunteers and I, including a Merced County Sheriff's Deputy, addressed relationships with law enforcement.

I apologize if the message through my actions are less obvious or if they are delayed. Addressing racial equity is sensitive work that is not easily achieved, quantified or shared in text form. I trust you see my actions yesterday, today and tomorrow, as my official stance. Let me remind you officially today that I stand with our people suffering from racial inequities. I say #AllLivesMatter because we need everyone at the table and #BlackLivesMatter because they experience inequities at a disproportionately higher rate and need our attention now.

NUMB. STUNNED. DEAD.

A Hmong brother stood by as a White brother murdered a Black brother. Numb.

It could have been a Black brother who stood by as a Hmong brother murdered a White brother.

We know that in those two cases, the outcomes would be different. It would be different if it was a different Hmong brother, a different Black brother, a different White brother or a different neighborhood. Not all Hmong are bad, not all Blacks are bad, not all Whites are bad and not all cops are bad.

I am numb and stunned because I have been and continue to be a target for a particular local law enforcement officer who has the authority to direct other officers. I am a target because I have been and am fighting for equity. I have been weighing my options and concluded that I could be dead (literally, financially, career wise) whether I speak out or not so I am speaking out. It could be me physically pinned down someday and the world will never know what led to it.

This particular law enforcement officer recently tried to pin me down for a different Lee Lor who lives in a different county more than 100 miles away, with a different DOB and a different gender. Why was he looking for any information on any Lee Lor? How did he find information on this Lee Lor? Abusing power for personal reasons? Did he stop when he found out THAT Lee Lor is male with a different DOB? No, he had to verify SSNs. How does a law enforcement officer get access to my SSN when I have done nothing wrong but fight for equity? Were his reasons, without documentation, just enough for the County to share my SSN?

I am speaking out because it does happen, is still happening and is happening in YOUR community. I am speaking out because it can happen to ANYONE with or without privileges.

I know this particular law enforcement officer’s personal vendetta and actions do not reflect/represent the whole agency. Let's step up and show people who the good cops and the good people are. Check yourselves and hold each other accountable. Stop abusing your power and use it to better your neighbors.

Let’s fight for racial equity locally, regionally and systemically. Together.

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Paid for by Lee Lor for Supervisor 2020    FPPC#1415396