Dear Perioperative Community and AORN Staff,
The unconscionable, senseless death of George Floyd has resulted in raising awareness of the systemic level of racism that exists in the United States. AORN endorses ANA President Dr. Ernest Grant’s statement: Condemning Racism, Brutality and Senseless Violence Against Black Communities.
AORN wants our members and colleagues to be aware of the association’s views on the actions and subsequent reactions to Mr. Floyd’s death.
It is our belief that those who bear witness, but remain silent, are collaborators. Silence is consent and, in their silence and inaction, collaborators are as guilty as the perpetrators who commit the crime. It is our association’s opinion, as well as the culture of AORN, that all racism is unacceptable. We demand of our employees and ask the perioperative community to commit to zero tolerance for any racist acts and injustice.
Many of us want to believe that racism does not exist and that we are open, accepting, and tolerant of differences in skin color, religion, and nationality. Instead, the horrific death of George Floyd showcased a national naivete. Across the United States and around the world, people are speaking out. They are assembling to speak with one strong voice against continued racism, injustice, and racist violence.
Everyone must be accountable for sending a message to law enforcement, the federal/state governments, and our communities that racism, discrimination, and unconscious biases must be eliminated. It is important to stand together against hatred and discrimination, be observant, speak up, speak against injustice and, above all, be kind and respectful.
To our African American members and all people of color, we send our love and respect and we want you to know that your colleagues, friends and AORN stand together in support of the equal rights you so justly deserve.
David A. Wyatt, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, CNOR
The Board of Directors
Linda Groah, MSN, RN, CNOR, NEA-BC, FAAN