Our country and our community are in pain. I, like so many Americans, am angry, sad, frustrated and heartbroken. Heartbroken for the senseless loss of lives. For the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many others. Yet I also know that my pain pales in comparison to that of African Americans who’ve suffered these atrocities without justice time and again.
There is a long history of police violence against African Americans in this country that we cannot ignore. This history is rooted in racism, and we must address it. As a mother, my strongest instinct is to protect my children. For parents of African American children, it is indescribably harder in the face of racism, violence, and routine injustices.
I do not condone any violence or destruction, but we also cannot forget that these demonstrations began with the murder of a man at the hands of a police officer. If not for the public outcry and clear demonstrations that something in our country must change, the officer responsible for this murder most likely would have gone uncharged.
My hope for our city is that the end result is greater accountability in this country’s justice system against crimes we have ignored for too long because the victim was African American. It is our responsibility to ensure that racism in this country does not have a future. This will require work at home, in our justice system, in our laws, in our healthcare system, and in the way we engage with our community.
If we are not working against racism, we allow it to continue.