I will no longer be silenced by the violence of racism.

I am a black woman, mother and grandmother. I care deeply about their lives, their well-being and their futures. I care deeply about black lives.

The murder of George Floyd disrupted his family’s life forever. The murder of George Floyd disrupted our communities. The murder of George Floyd disrupted our sleep. The murder of George Floyd disrupted our homes. The murder of George Floyd disrupted our trust, our hope and our hearts. The murder of George Floyd has disrupted our nation.

This is not the first time that the very core of our humanity has been disrupted by police brutality. I pray it will be the last time. I am not so foolish to believe that “it” will get better on its own and go away. I am not so blinded by hope that I can’t see the difficulty of the journey ahead.

Yet, I believe that we can live in a better world. I believe we can live in a world where all humans are treated as equals. I believe that, if each one would reach one, we could achieve the impossible.


A supporter walks off after placing a flower near a painting of George Floyd during a peaceful rally, celebrating black culture and remembering George Floyd and other victims of police violence, in Salem, Oregon on Tuesday, June 2, 2020.

If every institution, every community, and every person made a commitment that “I” want to fight for black and brown people, then the impossible becomes possible.

I have watched. I have cried. I have prayed. I have yelled. I have lived with the deep roots of racism, in this community. I am committed to building connection and community through voice and choice. I will no longer be silenced by the violence of racism.

I will no longer choose to pretend that it is not my problem. It is not just my problem. It is law enforcement’s problem, too.

If you are complacent in the violence of racism, you are upholding racism. Your silence doesn’t give you a pass.

I want to understand why this systemic violence against black and brown bodies keeps happening. There are so many tools, resources and opportunities to dismantle these ongoing systems of racial oppression.

There are people who are willing to meet with you. There are people who are willing to have these difficult, but transformational conversations with you, about race.

I want these murders to stop now. I want to understand. I want to understand you.

Will you help? Do you know what is driving this violence? This extreme lack of humanity? Is this your fear of black people? Is this bottled up rage? Is this your need for control?

I want to understand. I need to understand. And I am listening. I want you to look and see what is here. Inside of you. Inside of your colleagues. And the system you are a part of.

And I want to know what you are willing to do about what you find.