Opinion: We must emerge more empathetic to those suffering, says Canton resident
To the Editor:
Ever since November 8, 2016 it has felt like, and then has come to fruition, that things would continue to get worse before they got better. It feels more so like that today than any of the 1200+ days previous to this. And sadly, tragically, it’s difficult to imagine the depths to which we might sink that could lay lower than the place we find ourselves in now.We were in one of those historically transformative moments prior to George Floyd’s death; we have shifted from the transformative to an existentially precarious moment. It would be extraordinarily easy to slip further toward the dis-assemblage of the American experiment. It will be much more difficult to do what is imperative; what is required; what we are obligated to do; what the creators of this country charged us to do. And that is to be honest with ourselves about our failures to live up to the ideals of our inception. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
George Floyd was denied the right to the pursuit of happiness under the knee of Officer Chauvin. He was denied the right to liberty under the knee of Officer Chauvin. Indeed he was denied his very right to life as it was squeezed out of him under the knee of Officer Chauvin, who took an oath upon assuming his role as a public servant to uphold the rights of the citizens he swore to protect.
On the heels of George Floyd’s rights being trampled upon and stolen from him, another public servant who took an oath to uphold the rights of the citizens he swore to protect unleashed a line of military police on horseback firing tear gas and rubber bullets upon a crowd of peaceful protesters exerting the constitutional rights that our founders ensured them. He denied the protesters those rights in order to strut across the street for a photo op with a Bible he is undoubtedly unfamiliar with.
We must survive this moment. We must emerge on the other side, more self-aware, more sympathetic to the plight of our fellow citizens, more empathetic to the pain and suffering of those who are denied the rights we all too often take for granted.