This Moment Cries Out For Us To Confront Race In AmericaBreaking News
tags: racism, civil rights, Birmingham, Alabama
Words cannot dull the pain of George Floyd’s family. Like many black families before them, they find themselves in the spotlight for reasons that every parent, sibling and spouse dreads. While his death has catalyzed a symbolic call to action, he was not a symbol to his loved ones — he was a father, brother and son. I can only pray that they find the “peace that passes understanding.”
In the wake of Floyd’s death, Americans and people around the world are experiencing shock, grief, outrage — a set of emotions that too often are repeated. If the past is a guide, these feelings will fade and we will return to our lives.
But something tells me — not this time. Floyd’s horrific death should be enough to finally move us to positive action.
Perhaps this is like the moment in 1955 when Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of the bus. Or perhaps this is like that fateful Sunday in September 1963, quite personal to me, when a bomb in a Birmingham church killed four girls from my neighborhood and shook our nation to its core. Some six decades later, perhaps all of us — regardless of skin color — are, to quote Mississippi sharecropper and civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer, "sick and tired of being sick and tired.”
Our country has often moved forward and been made better through peaceful protests. But our cities must stop burning. Innocent people, including many minority and immigrant business owners, are watching their livelihoods go up in smoke. There is no excuse for looting and criminality, and offenders must be stopped. But a call for calm is not enough, either. This time, we must remain vigilant and maintain our determination to make a difference.
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