OUR VIEW: Listen, learn and change

Associated Press file photo

This undated file handout photo provided by Christopher Harris shows George Floyd. 

What can you say when a white Minneapolis police officer kneels on the neck of a black man, George Floyd, who dies as a result?

What can you say when white men chase down a black man, Ahmaud Arbery, shoot and kill him as he runs through a Georgia neighborhood?

What can you say when Louisville police kill a black woman, Breonna Taylor, in her own bed?

What can you say when a Dallas police officer shoots and kills a black man, Botham Jean, in his living room?

What can you say when a New York policeman places a black man, Eric Garner, in a fatal chokehold while arresting him for selling cigarettes?

What can you say when black people die on any given day under similar circumstances across America?

What can you say when black parents in 2020 have to have “The Talk” with their sons about what might happen if they are pulled over by police?

What can you say when black people live in fear simply because of the color of their skin?

What can you say when three civil rights workers, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, are murdered by white men in Neshoba County, Mississippi?

What can you say when, as The National Memorial for Peace and Justice states, more than 4,400 African-American men, women, and children were hanged, burned alive, shot, drowned, and beaten to death by white mobs between 1877 and 1950?

What can you say when millions of other black people were forced to flee the South in fear of racial terrorism?

What can you say when black people are required to live under Jim Crow laws in segregationist southern states well into the 20th century?

What can you say when obstacles are still placed in front of black people to prevent them from voting?

What can you say when black people are enslaved to work in the fields, in masters’ households or to build monuments to white people?

What can you say when black people are reminded of that enslavement by flags and monuments placed at public schools and spaces?

Perhaps there is nothing that can be said. All that can be done is to listen, make amends and change.

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