As Black women, we know intimately what it feels like to sit in the face of White supremacy and anti-Blackness as they dare to come for our intellect, experience and our being.

State Sen. Greg Baca (R-Belen) suggested a Black woman was not qualified to lead the Department of Veteran Services, not because she lacked experience or skill, but because she is a Black woman.

The New Mexico Black Central Organizing Committee (NMBCOC) calls on the leadership to make a formal statement censuring Greg Baca and to address how these racially motivated attacks will be stopped and addressed in the future.  When you say you stand with Black women, you must back it up.

Cabinet Secretary-Designate Sonya Smith correctly named what Baca was doing, questioning whether she as a Black woman could lead the Department of Veteran Services.

The dual oppression of racism and sexism is quite intentionally meant to devalue the very worth of Black women. It must be named and called out for what it is — misogynoir and violence directed at a Black woman doing her job.

The call right now must be for Baca to be held accountable. Without accountability, this violence is emboldened and will continue by those elected to represent us.

As the country celebrated the historic victories led by Black women in Georgia, we need to take an assessment of what it means to stand with Black women and to stop these acts of racism in real time. The anti-Black racism being shown in our New Mexico legislature this session needs to be addressed swiftly and formal ethical guidelines created on addressing this racist behavior.

We celebrate the historic appointment of Cabinet Secretary-Designate Smith and will not let this moment take away from this incredible accomplishment. We are excited to have her leadership in our state and in support of veterans.

The NMBCOC stands fully with Secretary-Designate Smith. We will continue to stand with Black women, center Black women and love Black women.

NM Black Central Organizing Committee

Alexandria Taylor 

Erica Davis Crump

Monet Silva