500 signatures reached
To: Robin Carnahan - GSA Administrator
Tell The US Government: Stop Using Rubber Black Men As Shooting Targets
We ask the following of Robin Carnahan, Administrator of the GSA and her team:
- The GSA and all federal purchasing bodies immediately stop all approval of the purchase of the “Rubber Dummy” and stop reimbursing departments that purchase them.
- The GSA and all federal purchasing bodies cancel the contract for the purchase of these rubber Black men effective immediately, not at the end of the contract term.
- The GSA and all federal purchasing bodies stop transferring these rubber Black men to all police and military agencies
- The federal purchasing policy be updated to prohibit the purchase of any racially problematic products by any government agency.
- The GSA policies are permanently changed to prohibit the purchase of any goods or services from companies engaged in the sale of racially problematic products.
Why is this important?
It’s a fact of American life that people of African descent are disproportionately targeted by law enforcement and racially motivated extremist groups. While millions of Americans demand police reform, the US Government is participating in the purchase of rubber Black men for target practice. Why would we be teaching our military and police and anyone else to shoot Black people with impunity, literally dehumanizing us and making us targets?
The product called The Rubber Dummy is a rubber Black man that has been painted white to make shots that have landed in the target more visible. This product, designed to be shot at over and over again, is made of what the owner calls a “self-healing compound.” The rubber Black man arguably desensitizes shooters, both psychologically and via muscle memory, to shoot Black people for fun or target practice. It desensitizes people and makes them feel comfortable with violence against the Black Body while reinforcing the long-held belief that Black people do not feel pain and can be continually attacked without experiencing trauma.
We have recently learned that the GSA has a contract with the company that makes these Rubber Black Men. This racially problematic product is featured in the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Schedules, meaning it can be ordered, at taxpayer expense, to be used by military, prison, and any other federal agencies for target practice, combat training or any other purpose. This is disturbing enough, but military surplus is frequently transferred to local law enforcement agencies – a group that absolutely should not be further desensitized to enact violence towards Black and Brown people.
The product is not illegal but is indeed immoral in the context of a country that has a longstanding history of violence against the Black people. All of us, regardless of race, should take issue with our tax dollars being used to purchase such a racially problematic item.
A recent and deeply disturbing report from the United States Department of Defense found a significant presence of white supremacists among the ranks of the US Military. Though Secretary of Defense, Lloyd J Austin states “We owe the men and women of the Department of Defense an environment free of extremist activities…”. The DOD knows they are training white supremacists for warfare, and yet they are allowing the use of a rubber Black person with African features as a target.
Real humans do not self-heal from gunshot wounds and neither do the families they are robbed from.
While the problem of white supremacy and racialized police violence can feel overwhelming, this is a real action that can be taken to remove at least one racially concerning and psychologically damaging practice. The GSA and the US Government has the power to take this cost-effective and morally imperative action.
All of us, regardless of race, should take issue with our tax dollars being used to purchase such a racially problematic item.
Sign this petition to demand that your tax dollars not be used to fund hate.
A Coalition of Concerned Citizens
Sonni Hashmi: Commissioner - Federal Acquisition Service
Krystal Brumfield: Asso Admin. and Chief Acquisition Officer
Aluanda Drain: Office of Civil Rights
Gianelle Rivera: Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs
Laila ElGohary: White House Liaison
Carol F. Ochoa: Inspector General
How it will be delivered
The petition and all of its signatures will be sent to Robin Carnahan and key members of her GSA staff in honor of Juneteenth.