As a country, we are not only plagued by our present circumstances of a global pandemic. We are also plagued by what has been with us for 400 years – widespread racial inequality. People are filled with anger and frustration, despair and exhaustion. This is a fire that has been burning for centuries. Almost 60 years have passed since Martin Luther King Jr. said in his letter from a Birmingham jail, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Justice cannot happen when inequalities exist. We understand that the fight for racial justice isn’t based on one incident; but rather generations of injustice and indifference. APPA is not indifferent. APPA stands for justice for ALL. Pain from a global pandemic.
Pain from cultural realities and systemic inequalities. The only wrong thing to say is nothing. Just start with a simple, “I care about you.” That single, sincere statement can and will lead to an amazing conversation. IF, you will lean in, listen, and hear for the first time. Let’s use our voices to make change happen.
In the words of Maya Angelou, “People will forget what you said; people will forget what you did; but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
This is indeed a watershed moment. It is time to promote racial healing. It is time to pursue the path of compassion, empathy, and sympathy as the road to real reform, real change. We all have a responsibility to do our part to affect meaningful change. We cannot, we must not go back. We are in difficult, but not insurmountable, times. We can be better. Let’s use our voices to make change happen. Let’s do this together. In union, there is strength.
E. Lander Medlin APPA
Executive Vice President