OUR VIEW: The conversation we need to be having
OUR VIEW | THE DEATH OF GEORGE FLOYD

OUR VIEW: The conversation we need to be having

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It’s hard to know what to say right now.

Words carry incredible power. We want to choose ours carefully.

We are appalled by the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died May 25 as a white police officer pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes.

Floyd’s death inflamed a national conversation steeped in strong emotions.

The themes of that conversation are familiar. We have been here before — a fact that heightens the frustration of those protesting.

There is no denying this is a fraught, historic moment for our country.

People are hurt, angry, tense, afraid.

There are some things we can all agree on.

We can all agree that George Floyd should be alive right now. The behavior shown in cellphone footage of Floyd’s death has no place in our justice system. No one who finds that treatment acceptable should be on government payroll.

We also can all agree that the shooting of four police officers in St. Louis should never have happened. The officers were wounded after a day of peaceful protests turned violent and destructive early Tuesday. A 77-year-old retired St. Louis police captain, David Dorn, was shot to death the same morning while defending a pawn shop.

The violent, unlawful acts of a comparative few should not be allowed to obscure the message of thousands more across the country who are peacefully exercising their rights to free speech, assembly and airing their grievances – their message of the need for change.

No one is helped by these intentional acts of violence. The pain they cause ripples far beyond the victims.

But outside of the areas where we all agree, there are a million nuanced ways to see our society and what is happening in it.

Our perspectives cover so much ground because we are so wildly diverse.

And that diversity is one of the most beautiful aspects of America.

It’s hard to know what to say right now.

For us, that’s a sign that we need to talk less and listen more.

There is no simple solution. There isn’t even agreement in our society about what the problems are.

But a core tenet of our humanity is the desire, the need, to be heard. And that is something we can give to each other.

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YOUR TURN

What steps should we all take to address intolerance? Join the conversation. 

Join the conversation at pantagraph.com/letters or send letters to the editor to The Pantagraph, 205 N. Main St., BloomingtonIL, 61701.

YOUR TURN

What steps should we all take to address intolerance? Join the conversation. 

Join the conversation at herald-review.com/letters or send letters to the editor to the Herald & Review, 601 E. William St., Decatur, IL, 62523.

YOUR TURN

What steps should we all take to address intolerance? Join the conversation. 

Join the conversation at jg-tc.com/letters or send letters to the editor to the JG-TC at 700 Broadway Ave. East Ste 9A Mattoon, IL, 61938. 

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