We, the Butler County Democratic Committee, stand in support of the black community in their condemnation of the systemic racism that has led to the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmed Aubery, Breonna Taylor, Sandra Bland, and many others. The nationwide protests that followed George Floyd’s murder are an expression of frustration for a situation that has been allowed to continue for far too long.
We are not being honest with ourselves if we don’t admit the systemic racism that has always been a part of this country. The very men who proudly wrote that ‘all men are created equal’ owned black slaves. The great leaders who created the Bill of Rights didn’t extend those rights to people who didn’t look like them.
Unfortunately, there have been violent outbreaks during these protests instigated by those who seek to divide us rather than unite us, on both sides. Police using excessive violence on peaceful protesters are betraying the public they are supposed to serve and protect. Agitators who vandalize and loot are doing a disservice to the cause they claim to support.
The First Amendment allows for the right to assemble and petition the government for change. The United States was built on this as it became an independent nation. We saw this right trampled by the current administration as it used various police and military forces to drive peaceful protesters out of Lafayette Square. Why is there not more outrage about this? Where are our representatives whom we elect and who swear an oath to the constitution?
Instead of using their position as co-equal branches of government to hold the abuses of this administration in check, they are abdicating their responsibility to be real leaders. Real strength does not come from physical force, it comes from moral strength and strength of convictions, as exemplified by true leaders like Chris Swanson, the Michigan police sheriff who took off his helmet, put down his baton and marched with the protestors in Flint.
It is time for people of good will on both sides to work together to make this country a fairer, free place for all Americans. It’s time we all find our courage and use the strength of our convictions to live up to these words that we say so often, “liberty and justice for all.”