After days of protests, tear gas and vandalism, it is clear that pain is walking the streets of our cities. Raw, exposed nerves; throbbing emotions pumping in raised fists; anger gushing into the space between the dramatically different lived experiences of white and black America.
This pain showed up as broken windows and graffiti at our State Capitol. I am hurt by the desecration of the monuments erected on these grounds. The Capitol is a symbol of our democracy, a place for all people, a place of history and of hope. This is the sacred place where we make right what is wrong in the world.
I’ve been asked if I support the protests and that is not the question I want to answer. Without hesitation, yes, I support our rights to peaceful protests, freedom of speech and marches for justice. But more importantly, we need to respond to the “why” these demonstrations are happening in the first place. These protests are a manifestation of the extraordinary pain felt by communities of color who cry for justice, not just in response to the death of #GeorgeFloyd, but to the white privilege embedded in our institutions and laws.
My voice seems small and unworthy at this moment, but I raise it in support of the those fighting social injustice, racism and bigotry. I raise it in support of my colleagues in the House of Representatives who ask me to stand beside them as they lead the way to a more just Colorado.
Photo from State Representative Susan Lontine