Like so many others, my heart is breaking. It is breaking for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Manuel Ellis, and so many others who lost their lives because of the color of their skin. It breaks for those who have had to watch these deaths, and ask, "Am I next? Is my son? My daughter?"
It's time to recognize that our systems-- including our police force-- were not built to serve us all equally. In fact, many were created to actively oppress people of color. The list of names of black civilians killed by the police continues to grow. We cannot expect to heal if we continue to ignore and downplay the rampant racism our country was founded on, and continues to foster to this day.
We can choose to condemn the righteous and just anger of our friends, family, and neighbors, or we can resolve to be and do better. We can choose to protect the police and everything they do, or we can choose to meet this crisis with humility and work towards social equity and justice for our black communities.
We cannot ignore this crisis, especially given how it has played out in the 29th LD itself. Manuel Ellis was a loving, committed, and strong person, and he was killed by Tacoma Police in our own district on March 3 of this year. He was 33 years old.
I don't know the exact answers to how we will move forward, but I do know we cannot start the process of healing if we do not first acknowledge the severity of the wound.
I vow to be a compassionate, active listener for my community. Please reach out to me if I can be of any help. You can contact me directly at (253)778-6712.