Today and every day I join my voice with you who are both incensed and saddened by the murder of George Floyd and countless others who have lost their lives to racial injustice.
The death of George Floyd has reopened a deep wound that has never been close to healed in America – and despite the progress we have made, his murder at the hands of a police officer calls attention to the difficult work we have left to do.
It is simply not enough for us to stand by and hope for a better America – we must take action and we must take action now. First, we must acknowledge that racial injustice exists – from our homes to our places of worship, schools, healthcare, law enforcement and more. Second, we must educate ourselves, our children and those around us – and finally we have to mobilize together to raise awareness and support those in leadership positions who understand the corrosive effect racism and inequality have on our society and who will not tolerate hate.
Peaceful protests as designed and protected by the 1st Amendment in our Constitution, were designed to do all of those things I mentioned above – they help us to mobilize, to educate ourselves and to stand together in solidarity. While peaceful protesting in the streets is only a first step along the road of ending bigotry and racial inequality – the next steps will be the hard conversations among one another to change the hearts and minds of those who fail to recognize that racial injustice still exists.
Many law enforcement officials both here at home and across the nation have stepped up and called the death of George Floyd for what it was – murder. I am grateful for their honesty, their leadership, and their service at this difficult moment. Violent protests, putting others’ lives at risk and destruction of any kind go directly against what peaceful protests are designed to do.
Please know that I am here to listen, to learn, to stand with you and to have the hard conversations we all need to have. It starts with you, it starts with me, it starts with a conversation, it starts with education, it starts now.
Our country’s heart is broken. We are facing some of the toughest challenges we have ever faced, and we must find our way– a new way with our GPS focused on equality, kindness, integrity, and compassion.
My office is open and ready to get to work. Please stay safe and take care of one another.