Statement from 1199SEIU’s Roxey Nelson on Jacksonville murders

August 28, 2023





“Members of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East deeply mourn for the victims and families of the latest race-based murders carried out in Jacksonville.  We are a caregiver union of all colors, and we deplore cowardly acts such as these made in the name of “white supremacy” or any alias for hate.

Racial hatred is a cancer in our society, and it sadly remains strong, especially toward Black Floridians.  This weekend’s shooting was just the latest in a sorrowful history of prejudice, attacks and murders. Cowardice, ignorance, fear and hate have long driven these crimes delivered by an axe handle, torch, noose or now a gun.

We’re heartbroken that we’re still experiencing this in 2023, and enraged that so many of Florida’s so-called leaders such as Ron DeSantis, consistently exploit racial division. They might publicly condemn this particular murder, meanwhile constantly spew code words and dog whistles that stoke racism and racists like Saturday’s shooter.

Often, it’s not even veiled with DeSantis and his allies, as they have passed policies that intimidate educators and wipe Black history from our schoolbooks; they have demonized and defunded countless programs to help diversity, equity and inclusion; and have weaponized government in so many ways to send our state back to a much dangerous darker time.

We pray that the Jacksonville families can heal from this latest Florida hate crime, and wish all of our communities, all of us in all of our colors and new true leaders will come together to finally move us forward in a hopeful, hate-free future.”

Roxey Nelson is Executive Vice President of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, the largest union of healthcare workers in Florida.

Media contact:
Ed Gilhuly