Commitment to take action
Dear friends and neighbors, What happened to George Floyd was wrong, shocking and utterly unacceptable. Fifty-five years have passed since the Civil Rights Act, but the evil of racism still exists amongst us. The anger that we feel is justified, the unfairness is tangible, and the pain is real. As a minority and as an Asian American leader, I feel the pain and the fear personally. George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbrey, Breonna Taylor, and the cases of so many before prove without doubt, that this is a systemic problem and not a one-off issue. This has to change. We need action. Peaceful protest is called for, prayer is necessary, and change is absolutely required. Peaceful protest means no violence, no burning of property and no loss of life. It is only through non-violence that we can have this conversation and force a change. What we need is to reflect, to discuss and to collectively devise our plan for change. We have to be committed to implementing that action plan. It may be easy to blame others, but this is a wicked and difficult problem. George Floyd was murdered by a policeman who had a past record of using excessive force. We need to institute all possible safeguards in our policing to ensure that this does not happen again. If addressing police brutality is our only action item, we will be failing. Racist attitudes in a police force do not happen in isolation. Racist attitudes can be buried inside and emerge under stress or fear. We can only change racist attitudes and beliefs with love and empathy. It is of paramount importance that we ensure police accountability, transparency, and ensure adequate training to never allow a case like George Floyd to happen again. It is also important for each one of us to internalize the learning from George Floyd’s murder and be committed to spreading love and acceptance, to ending hate, and to replacing any racism within our community with grace and tolerance.
Harry Arora State Representative , 151st General Assembly District - Greenwich