I awoke this morning in a different country, realizing I am not in a sleeping nightmare but rather a living one. A country where our ruler, as he thinks of himself, uses the nation’s military to attack, not defend, the rights of its citizens. The ruler, trying to manufacture a positive image of himself, since none can be found in his failing leadership, chooses to take away citizens’ rights to public assembly and freedom of expression. Using military and police to sweep citizens from public spaces, this ruler clears his path to an honored place for an unwelcomed display of his hypocrisy. Standing before St. John’s Church, he holds up a Bible and smirks for cameras.
Now is the time for those we elected as our representatives to lead and take action. Officials, regardless of affiliation or position, must acknowledge the history, continuing significant presence and both blatant and subtle acts of racism in the country. Take your responsibilities to heart, strive to listen and learn from the many voices crying out, and do the difficult work to construct reforms that bring positive changes to our flawed society.
Charles Williams, Seattle