As we continue to navigate through uncertain times, we are also dealing with a fragile moment in our history.
The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, has touched off protests around the country.
In the pursuit of liberty and justice for all, Florida A&M University once again offers leadership as was done during the Tallahassee Bus Boycott that we celebrated this week. Sixty-four years ago, students protested peacefully, which is a part of the FAMU tradition and legacy.
Recent events around the country remind us that the fight for civil rights and equal justice under the law is far from over.
I am most proud of Atlanta Mayor and FAMU alumna Keisha Lance Bottoms and St. Paul Mayor and alumnus Melvin Carter who are standing tall in leading their respective cities.
In the words of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Dr. King added, “We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence.”
While crimes against African American men in particular is once again front and center and have touched a nerve in our nation, we must remember what Dr. King taught, “Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself.”
I am encouraged by those who seek solutions to this problem without the destructiveness of even more violence. We, as a nation, are better than that.
Today, we sent two astronauts to the International Space Station. If we can do that, clearly, we have the capacity to make the necessary changes to create, as our founding fathers wrote, “a more perfect union.”
Florida A&M University stands ready and willing to help in the fight for social justice. We can and must do better.