Our country needs us to take care of one another. We need each other, now! In my heart, I knew that we would quickly see a peaceful and powerful response to the initial vandalism and rioting. In the face of racism and protests for the murder of an innocent gentleman, I now see bravery. People are marching peacefully in defiance of the criminal element that showed up from “somewhere else!” I see people kneeling together, physically supporting one another. I hear powerful speeches and pleas for change–enough is enough!
Is it possible that the murder of George Floyd will, at long last, lead us to a commitment for change. Prejudice is learned–babies are not born with prejudice. And, we can learn that it is wrong to judge others by skin color, ethnic origin, cultural traditions, gender, age, and so on. One year, my 4th graders put on a play they wrote called Sweeping Out Prejudice. After each scene that illustrated a form of prejudice, a couple of students appeared on stage with large brooms we borrowed from the custodians and swept away the prejudice. It was a meaningful metaphor for everyone.
As an educator, I believe in the teaching/learning process. We need a major plan of action in law enforcement to infuse our police departments with training and knowledge, tactics and strategies that are based on equality. If a young person aspires to become a police officer, it is his/her responsibility to understand racism and protect all citizens equally. Education in law enforcement is only one of many areas that need change before everyone has equal rights in our country, but we need to get started, now!
I pray that this is a pivotal moment in our history. We are a democracy, we believe in law and order. I pray for peace in our cities–for non-violent marches. Let’s vow to enact real change as we listen to the eulogies for George Floyd in the days ahead. I believe in the inherent ability in each of us to respect the rights of others. We must move forward with determination to rid ourselves of racism in America!
The pandemic has slowed down. My Etsy shop “Staying In” sale ends next Wednesday.