Councilwoman Crampsie Smith: “We must work together as a city to insure that all our community members and visitors of color feel safe, secure, equal, and loved”

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On behalf of the department, Chief DiLuzio read a statement on “George Floyd’s Death & Policing in America” at the Council meeting Wednesday night. You can find the text here and the audio below. (The Mayor’s May 31 statement was not read into the record but can be found here.)

The Chief’s statement was the occasion for response to the local and national events of the last ten days or so by each member of Council.

Followers know that a main purpose of this blog is to help you know your Council members better. These Council responses are a good way to do exactly that, so Gadfly will take the next day or so to present each one individually for better focus.

Listen to the voices of our elected officials.

We began with President Waldron and are proceeding in the order in which the comments were presented at the meeting.

Councilwoman Grace Crampsie Smith

“Well, as President Waldron said, this has been an extremely difficult week, more so for some than others, but I just want to speak from the heart because I feel I want to say something, and I’m not really sure what to say, but I’ve been thinking a lot about it, but I think that, you know, at every Council meeting, every morning at the beginning of school, and at almost every public meeting, we cite the pledge of allegiance. And within it are these words, “liberty and justice for all.”  And I really take that part and think about it every time I say it. I think, is there really justice for all? And obviously the answer is no. There hasn’t been for even the past 100 years since this pledge was written in 1892 and for many hundreds of years before that. They say anger is a bodyguard for hurt, anger is a bodyguard of hurt. While I never condone violence, it is really important for us to reconcile with the fact that people of color are deeply and profoundly hurt and that hurt is manifesting itself as anger. Can we blame them? Absolutely not. I would not be in this position of councilmember if it were not for my dear friends of color. I am blessed every day to see the gifts, talents, and dignity of my wonderful students of color. My heart is broken for them and for our country. As a mother you live with many fears regarding your children’s well being. I thank God my twenty-year-old son is white, for his safety is greater than his friends of color.  And that is truly wrong. My heart breaks for the parents of children of color, for I cannot fathom the fear they live with each and every day. Their fears are above and beyond what any parents’ fears ever should be. Our path to justice for all and especially for people of color has been diverted especially in the past 3 1/2 years. We must continue on this path, bolder, stronger, and even more determined. The time is well past for justice for all. We must open our ears, eyes, heart, and soul to our brothers and sisters of color. We must work together as a city to insure that all our community members and visitors of color feel safe, secure, equal, and loved. We must insure that we are not not just against racism, but we are anti-racist, we are inclusive, and we always strive to insure justice for all.”

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