SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - In the past several weeks, from the streets of Minneapolis to a courtroom in Brunswick, we are getting a clear, ugly glimpse of the systemic racism that still exists in our country.
Millions of people in every one of our states, as well as millions more around the world are taking to the streets demanding action for what prosecutors and just about anyone who has seen the videos believe are the murders of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, the seemingly senseless killing of Breona Taylor in Louisville, and countless other acts of injustice that weren’t captured on camera or are not making headlines.
While we stand with the African American community, I can’t stand here tell you that I understand what it is like for them. The problems they face today aren’t always as obvious as they were before the 60’s. I’ve never been denied something because of the color of my skin. I’ve never had someone look at me suspiciously for no apparent reason, and I’ve never had armed thugs chase me down in pickup trucks as I jogged through a neighborhood.
Last week, the U.S. Senate once again failed to pass anti-lynching legislation. The bill would make lynching a federal crime with severe penalties. Now if you think lynching is no longer happening in our country, I will direct you to the testimony in the Ahmaud Arbery pre-trial from last week.
The bill is stalled in the Senate due to the objections of Kentucky’s Rand Paul who thinks it is too harsh.
Consider this: now is the time for us to be harsh. Now is the time to take to the streets and demand change, a change that is long overdue. And now is the time for us to be heard, both with our voice and with our votes.
As Martin Luther King told us a half century ago, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” We are still waiting to the get to the mountain top Dr. King spoke of, maybe the savage killings of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery will give us the boost we need to get us there.