The brutal killing of George Floyd is yet another traumatic example of the profound pain and damage wrought by racial injustice.
This time, the response must be different.
Too many Black lives have been lost or marginalized over the years to racism, intolerance and violence. Too many fathers and mothers, sons and daughters have been taken. Too many opportunities have been stolen and dreams deferred.
Across our country, Americans of all backgrounds are demanding real change.
Acknowledging systemic racism is a start. The next step is tangible, comprehensive action. Change to address racial injustice and inequality—whether in law enforcement, education, business, all across the economy—starts with a change in attitude.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke of the ‘fierce urgency of now.’ Now is the moment for us to join together to build a more just and inclusive path forward.
Each of us has a role to play—in our homes, our neighborhoods, our workplaces—if in fact, this time will be different.
At the State Comptroller’s Office, as we start the process of reopening, it is my hope and expectation that we will bring with us an elevated level of compassion and understanding for one another. Yes, emotions are raw right now. But it is critical that we treat each other with civility and respect, understanding we all have different life experiences.
Addressing issues of race and equality are crucial not only for progress in Black and Brown communities, but for all Americans. Whatever we have done to advance an agenda of diversity and inclusion, the urgency of now compels us to do more, if we are to fulfill the highest ideals of our nation.