I received this email last week after we posted a public statement to our website. I’m republishing it here, because I think this is an important moment in our country’s history, and issues—no matter how painful they are—need to be discussed in the open.
To suggest brutality by instruments of government against its people is the same issue as looting or other acts of public disorderly behavior is a false equivalency. Systemic racism that creates conditions for murder and discrimination by the government violates a sacred trust citizens place in the government.
Clearly, we must investigate and change government institutions that are racist to retain the public’s trust. But we also must examine our own reactions. If we are feeling defensive and persecuted, as the person below feels, when others protest government crime, then we must get to the root of that opposition to examine our own beliefs and ask why we are trying to blame the victims and why we are quick to ascribe motive to others with such conviction.
All too often a person will say, “But I’m not racist.” This attitude misunderstands the difference between systemic racism and personal racism. By conflating the issue, we repeatedly fail to fix the systemic problems that led to the death of George Floyd.
You can read our statement here.
From: John [name and email address removed]
Sent: Friday, June 5, 2020 3:35 PM
To: Pamela Davis
Subject: 6/3 Repeating Tragedy in America
I read the NIA Senior Leadership message dated 6/3 on “Repeating Tragedy in America.”
Interesting that in the NIA statement that there is no mention of the many deaths (including Black deaths), the hundreds of destroyed businesses (including Black owned businesses), and the damage to public buildings throughout our country. All done in the name of justice.
Everyone in America was sickened at George Floyd’s murder. It was abhorrent. Our justice system has rarely responded so quickly and at such a high level to apprehend the perpetrators. Yet the “protestors” seem to thirst for an immediate lynching. Is that the justice system we really want in our country?
Ironically, the justice system has never been so non-responsive in apprehension of the looters, arsonists, and murderers who did their crimes in the name of George Floyd. Many victims of that carnage lost lives; and many lost livelihoods and neighborhoods. Looting, arson, and addtional [sic] murders do not foster sympathy for the perpetrators.
Apparently, the last 50 years of affirmative action (i.e., legalized discrimination against white males) and black leaders at every level in business and government (including a U.S. President) have not been able to move us beyond being a “despicable, systemically racist country.”
I wonder why. Maybe it is because most people aren’t. Some are trying very hard to make people of all colors racists.