The Black Lives Matter movement is very real

Dear Editor,

We are a nation mourning the five police officers killed in a brutal and hateful manner in Dallas last week.  Other police officers were also shot and injured.  All were doing their jobs to protect peaceful protesters exercising their First Amendment right.  Every day, police officers place themselves in harm’s way for each and every one of us.  We pray and keep their families and colleagues in our thoughts.

We know all lives matter.  Black, white, police, young, Hispanic, Muslim, old…every life matters. The Black Lives Matter movement is very real. It is based on issues that many are not willing to address. Unfortunately, public officials, the media and others are quick to ignore the movement and simply make it about divisiveness, name-calling and attempts to keep communities apart.

Not helping is the growing movement to “take America back.” It is clearly negative rhetoric that’s fueling an American society divided by color, ethnicity, culture, heritage and racism.

The horrible shooting deaths in Minnesota and Louisiana will be investigated.  There is no question that we must have faith in our judicial system.  However, we must also realize that many communities feel that our system isn’t fair and may not be serving everyone equally.

If any of the recent police shootings are found to be unjustified, they must be subject to due process under the law.  Our prayers and thoughts to the families of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling.

It is time for change.  We can’t keep destroying each other with violence, death, hatred, harm and racism.  We are better than that.  Let peace prevail.

Yolanda Roman,
City of Gulfport, City Councilmember, Ward 3

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