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A Letter from the President

To say that we are living in uncertain and unprecedented times is a clear understatement. The year started with our president’s impeachment, quickly moving to a pandemic, and now we are seeing protests across the world in the name of racial justice. The murder of George Floyd was the impetus for the protests but only because there was already a huge problem of systemic racism running rampant through this country. This is not new. Black lives have not mattered as much as white lives for over 400 years, but since the Civil Rights of the 1960’s, there has been guarded hope that things could be different.

Light has been shown on how little change has occurred in the past 60 years. The pandemic is disproportionately affecting and killing black people. The murders of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and now George Floyd in the past three months have ignited an indignation across this country like none other. Not only are the people of the cities where these atrocities have occurred protesting, the entire country is protesting, and now, the world is showing support in the name of George Floyd. Racism in 2020 is alive and well. Now, more than ever, though, people are tired. Of course, black people have been tired since they were snatched from their homes and shipped here. But now lots of white people are seeing the injustice and are tired. Because of the systemic, ingrained and rampant racism in this country, white people caring is vitally important to the cause. Black lives matter, of course. There are very powerful and important black people in the US, but the fact is, white people have the ultimate power in many situations. White supremacy is still present. However, if white people don’t back down, we can help this movement to elevate black people to the positions they’ve earned and deserved for centuries.

I have learned many things recently while tuning in to the myriad of podcasts and news shows that are focused on today’s events. Did you know that there are more African Americans who are incarcerated or under supervision than there were slaves in 1850? 1 in every 3 women incarcerated in the world are incarcerated in the US. The police were established around the time of the abolition of slavery to control black people. There are almost 1 million women, children and men on the sex offense registry. These are disgusting facts, but they are true.

It is time for everyone to acknowledge the literal and figurative beating down of black people. It is time to come together, all races, to fight and change the systems that are in place to deny black people, and all people of color, equal rights. It is time to wake up! It is time to stand up! It is time to raise your voices against this horrible system that is in every formal system in the United States of America. Enough is enough. It is time to move as one nation to lift up EVERY person. The courageous people who tried to stop the killing of Mr. Floyd need to be commended for shedding light on this senseless murder. It is time for all people to be brave and call attention to what is happening.

I admire everyone who is demonstrating their right to assemble, to free speech and their desire for change. This cannot be a moment. It must be a movement. Young, old, black, white, Latino, everyone. The color of my husband’s, sons’ and daughter’s skin is not a weapon. It a piece of their identity that makes them beautiful.

#ResetMO

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