Op-Ed by Angie Bado – Democratic Candidate for Texas House District 70
I’ve spent the days in the wake George Floyd’s horrific murder (and yes, it was murder) at the hands of a Minneapolis policeman, vacillating between feelings of outrage and feelings of profound grief. I am sickened, angry, frustrated, and I feel ashamed. The escalation of racism and hatred in this country quite simply is unacceptable. We must do better.
And yes, I confess that I am writing this as a white woman of privilege and I’m aware that my comprehension of the pain and discrimination, sometimes subtle – sometimes blatant, suffered by the Black community isn’t even close to the reality of the situation. But I do feel pain because I am a human being who cares about human decency, regardless of skin color and regardless of socioeconomic status. As a mother, I know what it’s like to worry about losing one of my children. George Floyd was someone’s child, someone’s brother, someone’s husband, and someone’s father.
Although the Civil Rights Act was signed in 1964, I know, deep down, that it has affected too little change for issues and mindsets that were generations in the making. It will take time to facilitate major change. But I have hope for a better future.
I can understand the rage that is filling the hearts of many black Americans – As Dr. Martin Luther King said, “a riot is the language of the unheard.” When years are spent working toward a result that never comes, we feel compelled to try something different.
Clearly, the voices of black Americans crying out for justice have been ignored for far too long. We have turned off – silenced in many cases – the voices of Black Americans crying out against black poverty and inequality.
Over the last few days, I’ve been thinking about my own role in the propagation of racism. I realize that I’ve been complicit and, at times complacent. I assumed that when it comes to discrimination, things had changed for the better over the years. I didn’t hear my friends and members of the black community when they expressed their fears and, more importantly perhaps, even when they didn’t. I should have realized. I hear you now. I see you and I stand with you.
I have hope.
The situation may seem overwhelming – how do we even start to address the challenges? I have marched in peaceful protests, tears running down my face as I walk among protesters of all skin colors. The site fills me with hope.
I will work on making small, yet meaningful, changes in my own life. I will address injustice when I witness it. Silence, for me, is no longer an option. Emotions may be raw, but I will ask and then listen, listen and listen, and seek to understand. Implicit bias lives and breathes every day and I acknowledge that. I will do better and when I do, George Floyd will not have died in vain.
Will you join me and let justice begin with you?
Angie Bado is the Democratic candidate for Texas House of Representatives, District 70