Opinion: Letter to the Editor: We Cannot Wait to Win Over Hearts and Minds

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: We Cannot Wait to Win Over Hearts and Minds

I have been struggling to find words and honestly still can’t. The week has been draining both physically and emotionally on top of trying to figure out how to live in a pandemic. What I haven't been able to shake from my head is what I‘ve heard over and over again from friends and complete strangers: “It just broke me.”

What we're seeing nationwide is just that, a breaking point. In communities across the country this is the culmination (again) of having one's humanity repeatedly denied for simply existing and no accountability for those responsible for repeated violations of our dignity and rights as a human being. George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless others whose names we know and those we don't, should be alive today. It is our collective responsibility to ensure they receive justice.

Numerous reports and images of individuals infiltrating these peaceful protests with the sole purpose of causing destruction and mayhem is sadly nothing new. The same restraint showed to those who stormed state capitols with military grade weapons should be given to those protesting unjust violence and systemic racism that has been embedded into our policies, institutions and society.

We cannot wait to win over hearts and minds, we have been trying to do that for centuries. Our policies must change NOW if we are to move forward. We have to create a new normal.

Alexandria City Councilman Canek Aguirre