There are times when words are hard to come by. I find myself unable to find words to convey a message that does not sound inadequate. Because I feel so shaken to the core, I visualize Munch’s painting “The Scream” as I think about the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
We must see this murder and other racist violence for the illegal and inhumane acts which they are, driven by hatred, ignorance, and a disgusting display of seeming power and authority. The case of Goerge Floyd does not stand alone. Media have covered the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and Tony McDade. As Robin Diangelo reminds us in White Fragility, “racism is a system,” and it remains in place in our country. We must recognize that and work to drive it away.
These past months have been a terrible challenge to the nation and world, but particularly to New York City. Our lives have been disrupted as never before; many of us have lost relatives or dear friends to pandemic. For me, the murder of George Floyd has put a particular spotlight on how much more heavily our nation’s challenges weigh on people of color than on those of us who have white privilege. So many difficult conversations need to be taking place, so many laws and practices need to changed, and so much else needs to be done in order for our country to become a home for equal justice and opportunity for all.
The work of Guttman is part of the solution. We have begun to address equity in our community. We have a long way to go.
Let us stand together in support of our students and one another.