It was just 11 months ago that each of us, along with the rest of the world, watched in horror the killing of George Floyd.
For nine minutes and twenty-nine seconds we saw a person in authority kneel and squeeze the life out of a human being.
George Floyd’s life was taken away in an act of evil. The world took notice because bystanders intervened and recorded this vile act. As a result, people stood up, acted, and marched. As a society, we could not and would not tolerate the diminishing of human dignity.
What we witnessed yesterday was a call to action.
The verdict of guilty was an affirmation of not just the dignity of George Floyd, but, the inherent dignity of every human being, especially those individuals who are oppressed because of race, ethnicity, and social status in every society.
There is a goodness and a blessing in this calling for each of us to speak and act for justice.
We must act now to challenge each distorted view and all forms of aggression that seeks to diminish any person’s dignity in our society. No one can act with impunity when seeking to hurt others. We must take action to stop those who seek to exclude, mistreat, or violently take the lives of others.
Yesterday’s conviction is a landmark moment in the fight for racial justice.
As a society, we have the power to bring the right attention, action, and reform to make clear that vulnerable lives matter. Yesterday’s conviction reminds us that people have power.
I urge you to take this moment of power to create change:
- Find your voice and let it be heard to prevent all actions that threatens or violates fundamental human rights.
- Create purposeful discussions to care for our communities and the rights of every person.
- Reflect and share your guiding principles of justice, equity, and equality and how you will live by those guiding principles.
- Become politically and socially active.
- Demonstrate your resolve. Peaceful protests denounce injustice by announcing new hope and the pursuit of the good for everyone.
With actions like these, George Floyd and so many others will be remembered and will not have died in vain.
With each memory we must recover our mission for justice.
Let us not be idle bystanders but let us lift our voices to echo what we heard yesterday and commit to take actions for the good of all.
In so doing, we promote our human dignity and that of all people.