There are moments in life that force you to stop in your tracks and take pause. Sometimes those things are great things that create undeniable joy. Sometimes those moments are jarring, to the point that your ability to rationalize them is not possible. This is where I find myself. The scenes that have unfolded over the past days, weeks, months and years, seemingly more and more brought to life via video, are shocking and disgusting. It's time for change.
I want America to be the America I was raised believing it could be. I want people to be treated unquestionably and undeniably fairly. The America many people experience every day is the opposite of that. People are persecuted for what they look like or what they believe. It is not right. It is not fair. It is not what we were created to be.
Because of either my “politeness” or my fear of conflict, my beliefs and values are suffocated by my own silence. I do not want my silence to be falsely interpreted as apathy, or worse, acceptance. It is not right and it is not fair. It is not who I was created to be. I cannot understand the fear of a black person put in handcuffs or chased down in the street because I “fit a description” of a criminal. I don’t know what it’s like to be a woman at a synagogue in Pittsburgh murdered only because of my religion. I have not experienced the inequities so many have faced. What I do know is that people deserve better. They deserve better from people like me.
We are called to love our neighbors. Unconditionally. Not because we are the same, but because we are different. Not to be color blind, but to see color, love what makes us different and fully appreciate one another. Not because we believe in a different god, or we believe there is no God, but to see that all religions are an opportunity to explore and tackle questions of faith. We would be a much better society if we could truly invest ourselves in each other; to learn from each other; to treat each other the way we want to be treated. That would be the America I grew up hoping it could be.
It is unquestionably one of the most challenging times in history, for many reasons. And now, given recent events, the fear and uncertainty of COVID-19 has been violently punctuated by escalating tension and volatility. Sentinel’s commitment to our values and behaviors is unwavering and they are as important now as ever. We are called to take a firm stance against the behaviors that we see in our society that contribute to exclusion or disparate treatment based on race, religion, gender or any other personal attributes. TO BE SILENT IS TO BE COMPLICIT. Therefore, we will not be silent. We are steadfast in our belief that inclusivity and equality are long overdue, and we firmly stand together with those who continue to peacefully fight for change.
Peacefully and respectfully,