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‘We Must Focus on Protecting Black Lives’

On Monday night I spoke at the community vigil for George Floyd. As part of my message, I said that Black Lives Matter, and also stated that blue lives and all lives matter. While I believe that all life is sacred, black lives specifically are at risk in our country because of systemic racism and police brutality, so we must focus on protecting black lives.

Saying that blue lives and all lives matter was insensitive, because the way some have used those phrases has made them into rallying cries for continued racism.  I hope it was clear that I was in no way disregarding the systemic racism that has led to the senseless murder of countless black men and women. I apologize for my poor choice of words, and to those offended by them. I am listening, and I am learning. 

The vigil was a powerful event where our citizens challenged each of us to reflect on how we can sacrifice for the greater good and practice humility when we make mistakes. I know that we have a difficult road ahead of us as we fight for equity and justice, and I believe that we can overcome these challenges to create a better future for our town, state, and country by working together.