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Time to act is now

To the Journal editor:

He was a simple man really. No one had heard his name outside of maybe his family and circle of friends and coworkers. But in eight short days, everyone throughout the developed world knew the name George Floyd. Not because of anything extraordinary, rather something so horrific that we will never be able to unsee it. A trained first responder and someone sworn to uphold the peace and protect all of us, was videotaped holding his knee on another human being’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds.

Then on June 12, Rayshard Brooks became another senseless victim in Atlanta. For three weeks, we have seen, mainly peaceful, protests around the world. People of every ethnicity, color, age and political persuasion, speaking with one voice. America’s dirty little secret has been exposed for all to see. “All Americans are endowed with the inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. But some know, all too well, that those rights are not as inalienable as Jefferson would have had us believe.

These marches and protests have served notice that this is not going to go away. But now it is time to move from the streets to the offices of our elected officials, municipal, state and federal representation, those who we have hired to act on our behalf and in our best interest. It is those officials who can legislate the change we seek. It is up to us to bring to bear on these officials the motivation for those who may lack the political will to do the right thing.

Democracy is hard but if you do not make your voice heard, you will never have satisfaction. Because, I guarantee, they are hearing from the other side all the time. You can write, call or make an appointment to make your case in person. Put your thoughts down in advance and above all, be respectful. There is no need to feel intimidated. These people all understand the power of the vote and they understand word of mouth advertising. So they will listen and consider what you have to say.

It is heartening to see Americans thinking about something besides where they are going to go fishing, play golf, party or what’s on special next weekend. So let’s be about getting the change we all seek. The time to act is now.

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