"Leadership cannot and should not be silent in the face of injustice," Kojo Quartey says in his latest column.
As events continue to unfold around the nation, leadership must be clear and unequivocal in its messaging. Benjamin Franklin said, “Justice cannot be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.”
Leadership cannot and should not be silent in the face of injustice. Right is right and wrong is wrong, and that must be addressed. This is why we have a “Diversity and Current Affairs Series” at Monroe County Community College – to educate, edify and illuminate. Our nation and world are besieged by an invisible enemy and our cities are literally burning.
No, these are not forest fires, these are man-made fires caused by the numerous injustices perpetrated against people of color. It is not one event that led to this, but numerous events in our divided nation; the killing of George Floyd was simply a catalyst. I want to go on record with this statement: I abhor any kind of violence, and any form of discrimination is wrong. I abhor violence perpetrated against civilians and against law enforcement.
Look at what is happening with the cameras on; imagine what happens with the cameras off. Indeed, all things are not equal, and not everyone understands that. How can anyone justify what happened to George Floyd? What about what happened to the African-American Harvard graduate, Christian Cooper, a birdwatcher in Central Park, NY? It was a much more benign event which could have escalated to a very dangerous level, fortunately, it did not. Many people of color are suffering numerous indignities every day, and it is not fair. Unfortunately, even COVID-19 “discriminates” against people of color; even COVID-19 is not fair.
At a time in our nation and world when we should be coming together, we continue to be torn apart by racial injustices, politics, violence and just bad behavior. There should be no place for violence and discrimination, but unfortunately it is part of the human fabric. In all of this, it is important not to demonize all of law enforcement, we must remember that most law enforcement officers are good people who do serve and protect by putting their lives on the line every day, including during this time of social distancing. I am sure the looters and those fighting law enforcement are not practicing social distancing.
How unfortunate that the invisible enemy is getting a stronger foothold in our nation and world. Please join me in praying and hoping for peace and tranquility during this most difficult time in our history. It is time for change.
These are challenging times, but this too shall pass.
Kojo Quartey; President, Monroe County Community College