Dear Highline College Community,
Lately, as a society, we’ve been through a lot. I felt it last night when I tossed and turned, thinking about what was going to happen today. Honestly, I woke up exhausted and unsure of the events and wondered if I was going to be disappointed and let down yet again.
In addition to a worldwide pandemic, we’ve experienced persistent anti-Asian American and Pacific Islander racism, mass shootings, the recent killings of two young Black boys by police, and the ongoing trial of a former Minnesota police officer who took the life of a Black man named George Floyd — a man whose June death we can now say, today, with absolute conviction, was murder.
George Floyd’s murderer has been convicted of one count of unintentional second-degree murder, one count of third-degree murder and one count of second-degree manslaughter and his sentencing will take place eight weeks from now.
Today is a small victory in the ongoing struggle for racial justice and accountability in our country, and I hope you join me in applauding the decision made by the jury.
While I will not discount the immense relief I felt after learning the verdict, it’s important to remember that we still have much work to do. I recognize one positive verdict won’t change those who still hold racism and hate in their hearts. It won’t bring back George Floyd and it won’t change this nation’s violent, racist history. There were thousands of cases before George Floyd’s and, unfortunately, there will be more to come.
Although I will take a breath of personal privilege today and find solace in the news that our justice system agreed with the millions who watched a tragedy unfold on their smartphones last June, I will also look to the future.
It’s a future that I hope has more kindness, care, compassion and true accountability — a journey that is rooted in equity, diversity and inclusion. It’s a future where the fear of being stopped, arrested or killed for living as a Black male no longer exists. Regardless of your skin color, gender, sexual orientation, religion or disability, you matter and are seen.
So, please, be kind to one another. Listen and look out for each other. We model respect and civility at Highline. Our work matters. I thank each of you for committing yourselves to our entire Highline community, but especially our students, our future.
John R. Mosby, Ph.D.