Angry Sad Optimistic

By Dexter L. Davis Sr., Ed.D. Senior Director of Education

I like many of you have been watching the social unrest that has been gripping America due to the murder of George Floyd. The footage of this murder has been played over an over on news outlets and social media platforms around the world. I like others did not know this man personally. However, the cold-blooded killing of this man by the knee of a police officer who took an oath to serve and protect has left me both angry and sad. I was also angry and sad that three other police officers either took part or stood by and allowed this tragic killing to take place. I am an African American male of a certain age that has lived long enough in this country to have witnessed the systemic racism that people of color have faced down through the years. I am by nature an optimistic person. I see the glass as half full rather than half empty. I have held out hope that before I leave this earth that I would live in an America that values equally the self-worth of all its citizens. I along with other African Americans are tired of this broken record. The social unrest that is happening in cities across this nation is the result of many years of systemic racism against people of color. The levels of racism have touched the lives of black and brown people in both the private and public sector. I am concerned about what kind of country that my grandchildren will grow up in. Will it be a country that will allow them to reach their full potential or will it be a country that limits their ability to be all that they can be. The killing of George Floyd is serving as a tipping point. What is encouraging to me is that the anger and sadness that I am feeling is being felt by people of every race and gender. All over the country black, white, Latino, young, old, rich, and poor people are joining together to say loud and clear enough is enough. Although I am an optimist, I know that the change that I am seeking is not going to happen overnight. African Americans and others have been fighting the fight for racial equality for over four hundred years. Just maybe the tragic murder of George Floyd might be the catalyst for change that sets our country on a course where our constitution works for everyone.