A Special Message To You, From Our Prez & CEO, Kevin Alexander
The recent deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Eric Garner and other Black American men by law enforcement and “law-abiding citizens” who felt threatened by the mere presence of a Black man for just being an American of African Ancestry cannot continue. The power of a smartphone and social media has unmasked what we in our communities of color have experienced for over generations… and it will continue until we all unite against those who feel not only empowered but entitled to keep a knee on a Black mans’ neck as a way of keeping us in check cannot be tolerated any longer. We as a community, and as a valuable contributor to making America what it has been and will continue to be – the greatest Nation in the world, deserve better than this. We have the right to peacefully protest, express our disgust with the acts of some when they declare themselves above the law. Let’s go beyond the immediacy of the moment and encourage our children and youth, the future of America to voice their opinions and support them to be the leaders of tomorrow. We need now more than ever to advocate for more investments in our communities of color – educational resources and investments in our public schools, afterschool academic and cultural enrichment programs, vocational training programs, career exploration and college placement assistance.
As a proud product of Jamaica, Queens, I understand the anger and frustration of being stopped for no obvious reason other than breathing, standing, walking, or driving while Black. I felt the agonizing pain and disgust that many of us felt as we watched the life being chocked out of another human being by someone who took and an oath to serve and protect us. However, our voices in response to this outrage cannot and should not be muted by a few bad seeds than plant themselves in the crowd with the goal of changing the narrative from one of social justice, equality and equity to one of an angry mob looting and destroying public and private properties as they sneak out in the darkness of night, as our neighborhoods burn!
What a powerful message seeing law officials across America such the NYPD’s highest ranking uniformed officer, Chief Terrance Monahan takes a knee, interact with peaceful protesters and truly express their frustrations with a few bad seeds that happen to be in law enforcement – because the overwhelming majority of law officials are truly good decent men and women.
We have always been better when we are together in America!
Warmly, Kevin Alexander, MPA, President & CEO