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The Sideline Blog

Just as sports players come to the sideline for rest and guidance, this blog is meant to provide you some insight and guidance as you explore your Strengths journey.

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  • Writer's pictureChad T. Ahern

Standing with People of Color

For the past several days, I have pondered how I should respond to the recent tragedies. I've never been one for rallies and riots (particularly the latter). I haven't wanted to gather with others for fear of increasing the chances that I contribute to a coronavirus resurgence. I also respect the work of many police officers but know our country can do far, far better to treat people of color fairly and with respect.

I recognize that as a white, middle-class, professional I have never had to endure the virulence and suspicion heaved upon our nation's people of color. I may not ever truly know what it is to walk in their shoes and live their stories. That doen't mean I cannot stand with them.

I can no longer remain silent. My faith and common decency, calls me, demands me, to care for my fellow man and women. Not saying something is no longer an option. A simple blog post may not be much, but it's a start.

Over the past several days (and weeks), I have watched in horror and disgust as more and more people of color have died, or been harassed, simply due to their skin color. While none of the recent, nationally recognized tragedies happened where I live; I know and recognize that people of color in my community continue to experience racial injustice.

​What strikes me most about recent events (Floyd and Arbery) is that, but for our different skin colors; they are me and I am them. We are all male, age 18 to 45 and athletically built. We are all family men of one strip or another --- uncles, brothers, fathers. So how is it that they are targets and I am not?

But this post is not really about me.

It is about the friends, the classmates, the colleagues (past and present), and the fellow community members who are people of color. It is about those who are both hurting and worried that they will become the next George Floyd, or Ahmaud Arbery, or Michael Brown, or Treyvon Martin. They deserve our respect and our support.

We are them; they are us....or at least that's how it should be.

In pursuit of helping the world become a little better, I want to publicly voice my support - as small or as big as it might be - for people of color in my Vermont community and around the world. To that end, I state the following...

To those who live in my greater Burlington community who experience racial injustice,

​I stand with you.

To those who simply wish to experience life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness our country's ideals promise for all its citizens,

​I stand with you.

To those grieving and reeling from the recent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and others...

I stand with you.

Photo by Josh Olalde on Unsplash

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