This week, we have seen an outpouring of grief and rage across our country. A person who represented justice, did something unspeakably unjust and it has triggered anger and frustration in our country that has been pent up and silent. No longer.
There are several things I want to say.
First, we believe in justice for all. Our nation was founded on the principle of the dignity of every human being and we must strive to uphold that principle better. For our neighbors’ sake, for our children, for the fabric of our country.
Second, we must abhor violence. There is an instinct to violence when it feels like you don’t have another choice. To feel helpless in the face of injustice is a terrible thing. But I know that when we get tired of protests, when we have to go back to work, real change will not come from violence or destruction.
Broken windows do not change culture. Change will come from the ballot boxes and the interactions we have with our neighbors, and the way we choose to honor and serve each other.
Thirdly, we must press on to common ground. Our communities belong to all of us. These businesses are all of our businesses. We must protect this common ground, this common property.
If we resort to destruction, we make the common goal, the common ground, that much harder to find.
Martin Luther King Jr. said our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. We will not be silent about injustice. We will also not be silent about destruction. Both of those things tear apart the common ground, the fabric of our country.
And that is something we will not stand for.