After watching videos of our president storm-troop his way into a church courtyard for a photo op in the midst of protests following the murder of George Floyd by people sworn to protect life, I am compelled to write this letter.
I am currently immersed in a novel set during the Civil War. That history and current events commingle in my mind. I have visited Gettysburg, where ghosts seem to pour through the bullet holes still present in buildings. So many men fought and died in that conflict to hold this nation together as its government did the difficult but right thing to end the abomination of slavery. Our country sat at a crossroad.
Now, in the midst of a lethal pandemic and cities in turmoil, the president puts his own self-interest above all else. The scourge of COVID-19 has fallen harder on people of color in this richest of nations, and the legal systems meant to protect all continue to fail. We too sit at a crossroad. Will we unite as a people under a flag that symbolizes “liberty and justice for all?"
Can we do the difficult and right things; respect all life regardless of color, creed, nationality, religion or sexual preference, work at ending systemic racism that continues to plague us, and hold our elected and appointed officials accountable to a higher standard of honesty and high moral character? Will we plunge into the abyss or can we build a bridge to a better United States?