July 13, 2024
Annapolis, US 87 F

OPINION: Black Lives DO Matter. What will be your role?

Over the past few weeks, we have seen protest rallies and support rallies pop up all over the nation. America is hurting,  We have been hurting for a long time and now we have an opportunity to do something—to make a difference.

And on Juneteenth 2020, I want to address the murder of George Floyd–it’s something that has been long overdue.

My heart hurts along with all of ours.

[bctt tweet=”It was not an accident or self-defense. It was murder plain and simple. George Floyd was killed by someone sworn to protect and serve them. Regardless of your background, that should upset you.” username=”eyeonannapolis”]

Everyone comes to this table called life with a different set of experiences. Each of us sees the world through our own unique lens, colored by our experiences.  People have said I am an extrovert and to a degree that is correct, I truly enjoy meeting people and listening to their stories, their triumphs and their struggles. With each person I meet, I am able to re-tint the lenses through which I view the world. Their stories broaden my perspective.

But regardless of your own worldview, I think we can all agree on the fact that George Floyd was killed under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer who cut off his air supply while three other officers stood by and watched.

It was not an accident or self-defense. It was murder plain and simple. George Floyd was killed by someone sworn to protect and serve them. Regardless of your background, that should upset you.

It’s my hope you will join me in calling out for change to ensure this never happens again.

Right now the African American community is asking for help to stop the inequality and murders. Every George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery is someone’s son/daughter, brother/sister, friend, neighbor. They’re fellow human beings.

I feel the first step is supporting an end to police brutality and to not remain silent. But police brutality is the low hanging fruit here. The vast majority of cops are good and we need them. The vast majority of people—black, white and whatever other color you want—are good and we need them. You can call it one or two bad apples or a crooked cop or whatever you want. In all walks of life there are bad people and that is unfortunate; but we can fix that by addressing the larger issue of racism and inherent bias. It will take time, education, and action.

Many people, including myself, find that race and racism is uncomfortable to talk about. But it’s a reality in our world today. There are inequalities and there are racist people who judge you by the color of your skin or any other factor which they feel should define you.

The second step is asking myself how my past actions may have contributed to the problem and how I can become a part of the solution. Generally I think I am a decent person. I am certainly not perfect and have made plenty of mistakes in the past and will make more in the future. But I do not have bad intentions. That doesn’t mean that I have not hurt people in the past.

I think it was a mistake by not addressing this issue earlier and letting my thoughts be known. And for that I apologize.

It’s not easy. But I want to do better, to be more understanding of others, and to make the world a better place.

No one can change the world alone. But together, with each of us doing a small part, we can…and in fact we will make a difference.

I want to bring different voices to Eye On Annapolis and I welcome them. Columns, letters, podcasts—I am open to all suggestions. Please bring them and let me use my platforms to bring a message of good and understanding to our readers and listeners.

I am an optimist. I am also a realist and understand that there is not some magical Kumbaya moment to cure this problem. It will take a lot of hard work, a lot of understanding, and a lot of time.  But I am confident that if we can bring all of our different experiences together and re-shape our individual worldviews, we will win. Let’s take our different perspectives and use them as means to connect – not divide.

As a community–we need to start today, right here, and respond to the cries of “I can’t breathe.”

We need to stand up together and say…

“This is wrong!”  and

“How can I help?”

Whether it’s protesting peacefully, lobbying for change, or taking a vow to no longer be silent.

We all have a role to play.

What’s yours?


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