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Opinion: We must do more work to fight racism
George Floyd death
Family attorney Ben Crump, left, escorts Quincy Mason, second from left, a son of George Floyd, Wednesday, June 3, 2020, in Minneapolis, as they and some Floyd family members visited a memorial where Floyd was arrested on May 25 and died while in police custody. Video shared online by a bystander showed a white officer kneeling on his neck during his arrest as he pleaded that he couldn't breathe. (AP Photo/Jim Mone) - photo by Associated Press

There is trouble in our land In the wake of the senseless killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, and a continued pattern of violence toward African Americans for hundreds of years. We cannot stay silent. We must speak out to condemn the trauma and injustice that the black community has borne for so long. Not just me by writing this letter, but by the actions of all of you every day of your lives!

I know that the violence that disrupted what were mostly peaceful protests have many of you angry and wondering why?  But have you watched the video of George Floyd being murdered by suffocation by a white police officer, which was basically a public hanging. And it was watched calmly by three other police officers who stood by with their hands in their pockets.  

It is time to end the inhumane police brutality that is perpetuated by our culture of white supremacy.

I was so lucky as a teacher for 43 years to have the opportunity to work in a school that was all African American and international.  My daily contact with these amazing children helped me learn and appreciate our differences and respect and love those children just the same as any white child.  America is and always has been a melting pot. And the hatred spewed by white supremacists has got to be stopped.

I am sad for the brave men and women who work as police officers to serve and protect our citizens.  Most of them would never think to do what Chauvin did to George Floyd. They are hurting now, too.

We have had eight nights of protests and rallies around the country. Most have been peaceful.  It is important to note that the Constitution guarantees the right to peaceful assembly to air our grievances.  

We march, rally and protest to make sure our government and community hears us. But Trump has not responded to the grievances. He has not even made a statement recognizing that the black community has a real reason for these protests.  

Instead, he has fanned the flames of hate and fear. He has said he will send in the military, which was condemned by his former Secretary of Defense, Gen. Mattis as unconstitutional.  Last week he sent mounted police into a peaceful crowd of protesters with guns and tear gas. He cleared the protesters away so he could go across the street to the church where Lincoln prayed every night during the Civil War so he could hold up a Bible for a photo op.  

The bishop at the church condemned his actions and says he was not invited. Bishop Curry, who resides over the worldwide Episcopal Church, said it was the worst he has even seen — he used a church building and the Holy Bible for partisan political purposes.  And he begged, and I beg, America to continue to stand up and speak up for all our brothers and sisters!

Bette Holland


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