This is a moment, but not for silence
I received an e-mail from my son’s high school saying that they would observe a moment of silence Monday morning to think about what’s happening in the United States with George Floyd’s death and the protests.
Silence is exactly what is not needed. Our children and students need to talk. They need to be guided by strong adults who can help them express their feelings, share their experiences, and learn what actions they can take.
Black and brown students need to share their experiences of racism and oppression every day with white students, and white students need to hear how to be allies. All students need to be guided by adults who can help them take positive action and feel empowered to make change in this world.
Right now silence is complicity.
The hope of November can’t come soon enough
I am a 71-year-old white woman. I’m not poor, and I’m in good health, and I can’t breathe.
I love this country, and watching what’s happening to it is so distressing that I can’t breathe.
I watched a Black man die while four white police officers watched it happen, and I can’t breathe.
My son and husband are avid runners. I think about how, if they were Black, I would have to worry about whether they would be harassed or killed during their run, and I can’t breathe.
I watched a young Black reporter for CNN get arrested, even though he did exactly what police told him to do and showed them his credentials, and I can’t breathe.
I listen to the president quote a racist line, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts,” and I can’t breathe.
Racism is not new, but it’s being sanctioned by the present administration. Things need to change, and it should start by voting. Maybe once I cast my ballot in November, I will be able to breathe again.
Tragic, needless end to an inspiring day of protest
For hours on Sunday, Boston’s streets filled with thousands of peaceful protesters. They were young and old, Black, brown, and white. Most wore masks to protect themselves and others from COVID-19. They walked for miles, shoulder to shoulder — despite the virus risk — to show their anger at the killing of George Floyd and the horrors of racism in this country. They marched together in nonviolent protest.
Then, at about 9:30 p.m., after most had left, a small number of people erupted in a violent display of anger and opportunism. They hurled bottles at the police, burned a police car and several trash barrels, smashed store windows, and helped themselves to whatever they could grab.
It was a tragic and needless ending to what had been an inspiring day.
We have to lift ourselves from this awful juncture
I cannot remember my country in such a dire condition since the shooting of Martin Luther King Jr., in 1968. There was rioting in our area, and my grandmother had to walk me to grammar school past lines of National Guardsmen with loaded rifles.
It is no surprise that we are at this awful juncture again. We have a president who wantonly fans the flames of racial division in order to rouse his base. We have right-wing media who do the same in pursuit of profit. Our social, economic, and justice systems do not treat most Americans fairly and with the dignity that their humanity requires. The pandemic has made the fault lines in our society painfully obvious.
It is a sad day in the United States of America. The question we must ask ourselves, as Americans, is whether we have the will to repair our broken country and live up to the promise of our founding documents. In other words, do we really believe that all men (and women) are created equal, and if so, can we muster the strength to live up to that ideal?
This nation needs a leader who can unite us and make us better
Re “Trump focuses most of his ire on protesters” (Page A1, June 1): At a time when much of the country is convulsed by people protesting the death of George Floyd in police custody and longstanding racism, our president stokes anger and blames protesters for the violence precipitated by another police killing of a Black man.
This country needs a leader who can bring us together and make us a better nation, not one who seeks to divide us and escalate racial tensions.