The tragic death of George Floyd during a police intervention in Minneapolis has saddened the nation and triggered a wave of protests in numerous cities. Unfortunately, this is the latest in a long line of appalling deaths across the United States. As a nation, we grieve for this loss of precious life. Each and every life is equally valuable, and every person should be treated with dignity. Seeing anyone as lesser or less worthy of humane treatment is wrong.
Now, we must learn from this tragedy by examining the realities of our society and working together to overcome the prejudice and history that has led us to this point. Every effort must be taken to prevent future tragedies by raising our collective consciousness and developing empathy. Dialogue among diverse segments of our society is a critical component of the effort to heal the wounds that have re-opened.
It is imperative for all individuals and groups who express their anger over this tragedy to act with heightened restraint. Vandalism and arson undermine the civilized debate that our society needs to have on long-standing legitimate concerns.
We pray that these difficult days will lead to heightened awareness and collaborative efforts for healing our social wounds and strengthening our bonds.