In Remembrance of the Charleston 9

This past week has been heartbreaking.  


Today, I  pause to recognize the lives of those who were senselessly murdered in Charleston, South Carolina.  This brazen act of terrorism can not and will not define who we are as a people or as a nation.


It is my hope that their lives will not have been lost in vain.  Although the focus of late has been most strongly centered on the removal of the confederate flag  in South Carolina as well as across the nation,  let us not be tempted to believe that our work stops there.


Removing mere symbols of hate is not enough.


To create real and lasting change, we must push boldly through invisible barriers that still remain.  Those systems of privilege and normalized advantage that provide unfettered opportunities for some, while simultaneously erecting something akin to an invisible obstacle course for others, must first be acknowledged, and then systematically dismantled.


Today, let us resolve to be unsatisfied with anything less than a nation that fully lives up to its creed.  A nation that not only in theory, but also in practice, exudes the principles of freedom, equality, justice, and humanity.  


Let us make it our charge that these little girls as well as all of the family and friends of those who fell victim to this senseless act of hate, will one day experience the ideal America.  


They deserve nothing less.


And by the way, neither do you…