George Floyd: Finding the Words
We knew we had to say something. Another black man dead at the hands of police. Another black man uttering those same final words: I can’t breathe. This time, it hit a nerve across the country, and the world. As people took to the streets, we knew we had to say something, too.
So did Tammy Thompson, who sat in disbelief watching television news as former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on George Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes.
Upset, Thompson walked from her Orinda Senior Village apartment through the park and to the office of Seniors Around Town, where she stops by a few times a week to shoot the breeze with program coordinator Cathy Goshorn. This time, the topic was racism.
Goshorn suggested Thompson express her feelings in a letter to the editor to The Orinda News.
So when it came time for us to write an editorial about Floyd and the movement his death has mobilized, we realized we couldn’t say it better than Thompson already had in her letter, printed here in its entirety.
In Memory of George Floyd
There shouldn’t be any racism against anyone because everyone is unique and everyone has good in them.
There should not be any discrimination because what counts is the person inside. Everyone is special and has good talents. Please don’t think of the negative in people. Everyone has things that are similar. But we don’t all add up the same.
Sometimes we get jealous or wish we want to be like someone but don’t have to act on it. It’s OK to be who we are.
And the police need to be careful about who they shoot. They need to be more careful so that people don’t die for wrong reasons.
And let us heal in peace.
Sally Hogarty, executive editor
Simar Khanna, editor