Everything is moving so fast. Across our country, and increasingly around the world, we're finding ourselves embroiled in a “perfect storm.” Tens of thousands of people have been standing up, walking in anger and grief, outraged by the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Even aware of the Covid-19 health risks, we came. Even when peaceful protesters in DC were buzzed by helicopters, shot at with rubber bullets and pepper sprayed, the numbers grew, a mix of races, religions and ages.
For two weeks, a sea of humanity, across the world, has refused to stand down, so that no person of color is ever again stripped of their humanity, their very life, because of race.
What is the hope that, after hundreds of years of America’s original sin of slavery, this might finally be the time we change hearts and minds and commit to Rev. Martin Luther King’s Dream? I don’t know, but our hearts can for sure be a little lifted this week because of our dangerous, soulless President and those whom he empowers with his racist rhetoric. For now, they have met their match with a new generation. They have met their match with people like DC Mayor Muriel E. Bowser, who had painted 50’ yellow letters on the street leading to the White House, “BLACK LIVES MATTER.”
As both Barak and Michelle Obama urged in their graduation addresses to the Class of 2020, protest is important but “aspirations have to be translated into specific laws and institutional practices—and that only happens when we elect good people, at every level.
” (Barak Obama)
One way to honor the endless litany of black lives that have been lost to violence since 1619 is to join with both our voices and actions for historic change in the 140 + days until Nov. 3. President Barak Obama speaks not just to graduates but to us all, “You can create a new normal, one that is fairer, and gives everyone opportunity, and treats everyone equally, and builds bridges between people instead of dividing them.”
YES WE CAN!!
Renee Ramirez Keaney, MDTC Chair