In three weeks America has seen the death of a young black man and woman in separate states. One murder, at home here in Kentucky; another in Georgia. And now, in Minnesota, there is a video of a black man, George Floyd, dying on the ground with a knee in his neck. This is my 3rd public statement on issues that should have been fixed long ago.
I saw the blatant displays of hate fueled by violent white supremacy in Frankfort this weekend. I was repulsed and, quite frankly, emotionally overwhelmed by the image of our governor hanging in effigy. It is all too raw a memory for those of us who look different than those clamoring for violence. State Representative Charles Booker said “We carry the trauma of that terror with us today” and that is true.
These individuals were enraged by the “tyranny” of public health and safety. We have elected officials who incite this propaganda, then offer flaccid and late statements of denouncement, if any at all. When the 4th Amendment was grossly violated in Kentucky in the case of Breonna Taylor, those same elected officials were silent. When Ahmaud Arbery was murdered, they were silent. When George Floyd was murdered, they were silent. Those who “protested” in Frankfort were silent.
Let’s call it what it is. They only care when you look like them.
As our Governor Andy Beshear said, “You cannot fan the flames and then condemn the fire.” Words matter, actions matter, your position matters. Life, above all else, matters. I will use mine to continue to fight for the future of Kentucky. I will use mine to protect all Kentuckians. I will use mine to unite Kentucky in love and equity. The Kentucky motto is “United we stand, divided we fall.” We are done with divisive rhetoric. I will not back down.