“This week I was outraged, saddened, and then outraged again by the killing of George Floyd, who died begging for his life as a police officer knelt on his neck. Mr. Floyd joins the far too long list of black Americans who have been killed because they were black. The circumstances surrounding the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others were different but the root cause was the same – racism.
Grief-stricken protesters have taken to the streets around the country chanting “Black Lives Matter.” We shouldn’t need to be reminded of that, but the truth is that the idea that black lives are not as valuable as white lives is tragically ingrained in our culture. We needn’t look further than recent reopening protests to see that. Armed white men stood outside government buildings and went home alive after their protests, meanwhile, jogger Ahmaud Arbery never made it home from his run.
We need justice to be served for victims like Floyd, Arbery, and Taylor. But it goes deeper. As a society, we, especially white people, need to work to understand how racism has shaped our country, our beliefs, and our institutions. We need to closely examine our own prejudices and problematic beliefs. We must reject racism where we find it whether it’s in a courtroom, the Rambles of Central Park, or a presidential tweet. We must admit our failings and fix every one. It will take conscious effort and it will be uncomfortable, but it’s what we must do to stop more black lives from being lost. It’s what we must do to ensure we are a fair and free society where all can thrive.”