Letter — We must work harder to do better
To the editor:
All peace-loving Americans should find themselves agonized over the senseless killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. We should be equally disturbed by the suffocating injustice that continues to hold its grip over the land.
America is at a crossroad where we must do more than talk about the failures of the system; where the urge to do harm and damage to people and property is never deemed acceptable; where we must come together in peace to talk and maybe even more importantly, to listen. As we do, we must be honest about our mistakes and shortcomings and open to celebrating our collective strength.
We must work harder than ever to bring people of diverse backgrounds together to create a more peaceful, prosperous, and tolerant union. One of our greatest strengths lies in our resilience as a nation and the kindness of neighbors and friends. Our greatest opportunities exist when we embrace and celebrate our diversity, not attack it senselessly.
We must all be given the opportunity to seek the benefits of freedom and democracy enshrined in the Declaration of Independence - that of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We are obliged to live up to these rights and we must protect them for everyone, whether downtrodden or well-to-do, no matter the color of one’s skin. The stain of bigotry on the skin of America must be surmounted for us to create a more perfect Union, and we must examine our own character while we examine the nations.
We cannot ignore the issues that divide communities any more than we can force answers in how we address them as one national family. When our eyes are open to the pain of bigotry and we see the disenfranchised we can work to change the character of our country. When there is looting and defacing of neighborhoods and sinister voices overtaking those of peaceful protesters we cannot see clearly, for those who seek to silence the voices of the lawful are undermining the American community that is yours and mine. Their actions come from a darker place, not one where the beauty of our communities is a place for joyfulness, but for them a place of continued hate.
True peace and justice can only come when the repeated violation of individual rights ceases to be a regular occurrence. It comes when the rights of every citizen are embedded in our culture stronger than the images of a white officer’s knee pressed deep into a black man’s neck to the point of death.
Our communities can do better when justice for all is a calling for all. Not tomorrow, next week or next year, but today. When we do that, we will treat one another as equals with compassion and care. We will serve our neighbors and neighborhoods better because we understand the pain that afflicts those singled out and we will create a more perfect union for all of us as we move the experiment that is America forward.
Mark Block, District 3