We are ALL Americans. Let’s act like it by giving love, not hate!

We are ALL  Americans. Let’s act like it by giving love, not hate!

Aidan Morley, Staff Writer

We are all Americans. Whether or not you believe we are all God’s children does not take away from the fact that we are all human beings. I was taught as a young child to see the content of one’s heart, not the pigment of one’s skin. When did we decide it’s okay to generalize about each other and spread division?

I am angered about the injustice that took place during the killing of George Floyd. I am angered that looters and rioters have run roughshod over cities. I am angered that police officers all over the country are being attacked and maligned. Most importantly, I am angered that people continue to use hate as a way to justify evil actions—white, black, or blue. 

 We all watched in horror as George Floyd was murdered by that police officer in Minneapolis. I’ve never seen such widespread condemnation of a brutal act of evil than what I’ve seen in the aftermath of that act against humanity. This is an issue that the entire country is in agreement on–if you are a white police officer or an African American civilian—we all see the evil in that tape. The Minneapolis police officers in the video are responsible for what happened to Mr. George Floyd, and they should face the toughest consequences in a court of law for the act of evil they committed. 

 If you turn on the news today, I can guarantee you will see images of people rioting, looting, and perpetuating violence. These unforgivable acts have nothing to do with justice–these are evil acts by evil people who are using this crisis as a chance to cause violence and destruction.  

However, these acts of violence do not represent the whole story of what is going on, despite what people on the left and right want to tell you for their own personal gain. All around the country, there is also love. All around the country, there is a call for accountability that transcends race and ethnicity. All around the country, there are people who respect differences. All around the country, there are people who are calling for peace and progress, but their voices are being drowned out by people who seek to propagate turmoil, to make money, and to garnish votes.

In Minnesota, a bar owner worked his whole life as a firefighter to open a sports bar. His bar was looted and burned to the ground in the riots following the death of George Floyd. As of May 31st, over $873,000 was raised to help him rebuild. After looting closed and destroyed many grocery stores in Minneapolis, a local middle school asked for just 85 meals to help feed people. In return, hundreds stepped up, donating over thirty 30,000 meals to stock the fridges and pantries of over 500 families. 

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Anyone who took AP Language & Composition can recite that quote from the heart. Yet, attacks have injured hundreds of police officers around the country. Police have been run over, shot, and had Molotov cocktails and bricks thrown at them. The murders of retired St. Louis police captain David Dorn and federal contract officer Dave Patrick Underwood, along with the destruction of property across the country, is a despicable atrocity. These violent acts certainly aren’t going to fix the problem of police brutality in the United States–they only further divide people and deter people from having empathy for the genesis of the movement. 

We are all American brothers and sisters who stand together unanimously against an evil act of injustice. This does not mean it is time to blame people who have nothing to do with what happened in Minneapolis and decry the nation that provides us with the opportunity to make amends for horrific examples of injustices both past and present. It is true that the United States has not always lived up to its founding principles of liberty and justice for all, and examples of injustices like the case in Minneapolis need to be addressed and remedied with love to achieve the change that all Americans desire. 

I am proud to call myself an American. I would give my life for this country–to defend a nation where people who look different and share different views can live together and respect one another. In a few years, I hope to serve in the U.S. Army. In doing so, I don’t want to serve for those who see with hate. I want to serve for those who respect one another, people who honor liberty and justice for all. I want to serve for people who see with love.