We here at the Regional Access Project are keenly aware of the justified frustration and anger which has fueled protests across the nation and around the world.
We feel the frustration, too, and stand with the non-violent protesters.
We believe it’s the right thing to do, of course, but beyond that we recognize the value of our own ethnically-diverse Board of Directors and staff.
The death of George Floyd, as tragic and unnecessary as it was, is unfortunately emblematic of a deeper problem in our society, a problem which has been allowed to fester for far too long. It is wrong, of course, to be actively and openly racist; it is also wrong to silently accept injustice.
Now, at long last, it is time to embrace the words embedded in the Declaration of Independence that ALL men are created equal. It is time to come together. It is time to expect of our law enforcement and elected officials to ensure that ALL residents can expect equal protection and service. Honest, caring police officers want better from their leadership and from their fellow officers.
This extends beyond policing, of course. It extends to government policies, to hiring practices, to medical care, to equal housing and educational opportunities. We cannot instantly change the hearts of all Americans, but we can begin together the long journey toward equality by pledging to march toward a day when no person is judged by the circumstances of their birth.
A century after Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, Martin Luther King, Jr. was still pursuing the dream of equality: "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. I have a dream today!"
The RAP Board of Directors and Staff believe it’s past time to make that dream a reality.