MCLP provides a unique lens of which to view the world through. As I sit here and think about George Floyd, three themes come to mind: diversity, poverty, and civic duty.
It will take a diverse movement to eradicate our communities of racism, hate, and bigotry. People of color can not do the heavy lifting alone, nor should we. Everyone, regardless of background, must join together to end this horrible, profoundly rooted bias in our country.
It is not on the shoulders of people of color to educate and call out racism. It is on others’ hearts to listen, seek understanding, empathize, and take action. You can look at any point in history to see that progress occurs when we come together. Unity! We must unify to address racism before it ruins this country, which can be genuinely great.
Over policing of our impoverished communities further exasperates issues of racism and poverty. Communities do indeed need the police and their presence. Yet, communities frequently policed are subject to unnecessary arrests, erroneous criminal records, and ultimately distrust for law enforcement.
We must evolve the role of police in our communities. They should be positioned to know the residents and understand the challenges of the community they serve. Officers should be able to render policing that does not harm their citizens’ lives, but bring alleged criminals to justice.
The right to vote and doing so is a fundamental civic duty that should be honored during every local, state, and national election. The pace of change is adopted faster at local levels. Laws change before hearts and minds change. Make these issues apart of every candidate’s platform.
Hold local candidates accountable for providing solutions to counter racism, address poverty, and advance the communities they serve. If elected officials do not keep their promises, we must vote in a different candidate.
It is pertinent to become active within the community so that others can see the benefit of a unified front. This can be in the form of volunteering, board participation, or running for public office.
Get out, register, and vote. Make your voice heard!
There is no doubt in my mind that George Floyd’s death could have been prevented. Had we, as a society, held ourselves accountable for our issues with diversity, poverty, and civic duty participation a long time ago.
Ken Starks graduated from MCLP in 2010 and currently lives in Arizona. At Allstate, Ken is a transformational leader with a plethora of experience and wisdom.