Dallas, TX – All of Texas is grieving this week. On Tuesday, May 24, a gunman opened fire on an elementary school in Uvalde, a small town 80 miles west of downtown San Antonio and 54 miles east of the Mexico–US border. In the aftermath of the horrifying massacre, 19 children and 2 adults were murdered. The death toll makes this the second deadliest school shooting in US history, second only to Sandy Hook nearly 10 years ago.
Ndure Cain, Co-President of Dallas Justice Now, has had enough. “This is just another example of how the system is failing minorities,” he says. “At Dallas Justice Now, our hearts go out to the victims and their families. This is why we do what we do.”
Effecting Lasting Change in Dallas
Cain has a passion for all minorities and all minority communities, but his focus is on the Black communities in his own city of Dallas. Dallas Justice Now is dedicated to remedying the root causes of institutionalized racism, which is a plague upon people of color in Dallas. The social justice group has recognized the poison of segregation in Dallas and seeks to create new opportunities for the Black community.
“It’s time to see an end to police brutality,” Cain says, “and give our children access to quality education.” He goes on to state that children shouldn’t have to grow up afraid of the police, and every child should be given a quality education. “I’ve been an activist my whole life. I’ve led protests against the pipeline through the Dakotas, protests in Ferguson – my whole life has been spent fighting both for the black and the native communities.”
Ending Educational Slavery
Cain feels that nothing can truly change until Black communities have better schools which are held accountable. “We need to end the educational slavery of Black children,” he says. “We have the right to demand good schools.” He goes on to point out that white students in wealthier neighborhoods have more choices when it comes to which schools they attend, a fact that offers unfair advantages.
Dallas Justice Now has several primary goals, one of which is bringing an end to the discriminatory “separate but equal” public education system. Cain points out that the Dallas Independent School District continues to fail children of color, and wishes to bring to light racist school boards that consistently deny children of color access to school choice.
“Black children in under-served neighborhoods don’t have the option of attending expensive private schools,” Cain says. “They’re forced into failing public schools. The only way we’re going to get our kids into good schools is for charter schools to compete with public schools.”
Empowering Black Businesses
Dallas Justice Now is a force for change when it comes to building up and empowering Black-owned businesses and companies. Cain believes in encouraging self-reliance within the Black community to create a culture of ownership and wealth. “We want thriving black neighborhoods with businesses OWNED by community members. We want Black Wall Street in Dallas!” he says.
Reducing Welfare Dependency
“We’re pushing a culture of work,” says Cain. He says that Dallas Justice Now has a commitment to helping Black individuals become self-sufficient. “We want to encourage job fairs. Even the lowest paying job is better than the humiliation and subjugation of taking welfare from the racist government.”
He feels that Black individuals should avoid depending on a racist government to provide for them. “Welfare is a trick by the racist government to give us just enough to survive but keep us down by not allowing us to advance (and risk losing benefits),” he says. “It’s keeping our people down and not allowing us to reach our full potential.”
Holding Elected Officials Accountable
Cain has had enough of white so-called “liberals” who claim to support communities of color, but in reality, continue to propagate white privilege by prohibiting black children from attending schools in “their” neighborhoods.
“They aren’t actually making real, consequential sacrifices when called upon,” Cain reveals. “We can’t trust the liberals, we can’t trust the racist right-wing Republicans – who is going to actually help us?” He says that it’s fruitless to continue to battle both or either party but holds out hope that social justice groups like Dallas Justice Now will activate their so-called “friends” among the Democratic party, and push them to do their part.
Hope for the Future of Dallas
Cain recognizes that the movement he believes so strongly in will continue to face the types of challenges they’ve already dealt with. “Racists will always spread misleading information and straight-up lies,” he admits. “They’ll invent anything about our motives that they can, because they feel their privilege is under threat.”
He won’t give up, though. “We’ll keep fighting. We’ll call our officials. We’ll rally. We’ll protest. We will do what it takes to get the word out and hold wrongdoers accountable.” He says that Dallas Justice Now has plans in place to build coalitions with church leaders, activists, and elected officials. The group will also be releasing detailed papers examining their findings about police unions, qualified immunity, discriminatory policing, and discriminatory education.