As usual, there is good news and bad news.
The good news is that the world is at a tipping point and it has its eyes turned toward Minnesota, so we have an opportunity to step up and set an example.
The bad news is that all of this is happening with a global pandemic as a backdrop. COVID-19 is alive, and George Floyd is not. Everyone has seen the recording of his brutal death, and the media (social and otherwise) and the streets are abuzz with the debate about what can and should be done.
There is little debate that the system of policing in our country needs to be restructured, but that is a topic I can’t cover this letter. I’ll only say that the one-bad-apple theory does not hold water. If not one single officer in Minneapolis’ Third Precinct saw fit to stand up against Derek Chauvin after any one of the previous 18 complaints against him then the whole precinct is complicit in his actions. Let them prove to me they have the people’s welfare in mind. I’m listening.
But the deeper problem is the systemic racism that exists in our state. Whether it is focused on Black people or Native people or immigrants, we all know it exists. And the same indictment is true for us: If we are silent, if we are not willing to face this, then we are as complicit as any member of the police force.