We Hear You - A Message to our Community
Our nation, our State, and our Midland community have been shocked and disheartened by the preventable death of Mr. George Floyd in Minneapolis. The demonstrations that have resulted have revealed deep pains that remain embedded in our society and that cannot be ignored. It would be a disservice to our community to pretend those pains are not real, that they do not exist right here, or that they are not worthy of our attention. Hollow words, followed by inaction, will only serve to deepen the pain being shown across the country and which exists right here in our community, too. We can and must do better, and we will.
As a community, we strive to live out our ideals, moving towards our vision. Together. Forward. Bold. An Exceptional Place Where Everyone Thrives. We have made tremendous progress in some areas towards that vision. Despite all of the progress we have made as a community, however, we are not where we need to be - yet. Not being there yet, though, has never been an acceptable excuse not to try and will never be a valid excuse not to continue improving. Not trying, not striving to improve, is simply not who we are as a community.
Today, in response to the pain, the anger and the outcries near and far, we stand together as a community to say simply: We hear you. We hear you that what we might have thought has been good enough up until now is no longer good enough. We hear you that true, deep conversations need to take place and then be acted on, rather than brought to the surface only to be forgotten. We hear you that, as a community, we are ready to start the difficult discussions that can lead to lasting change if we have the heart and the stamina to see them through. We hear you that lasting change needs to start right here in communities like our own. And we hear you when we say that we want to be part of the solution and change in our community. We hear you.
As a community, we strongly believe in the First Amendment and the right to peaceful protests. If you are so inclined, we invite you to participate in a way that respects the life of Mr. Floyd and can serve as the first step towards deeper community discussions and understanding. We will begin those discussions in earnest in the coming days and weeks, as we elevate and advance current collaboratives such as the Cultural Awareness Committee and other intentional civility initiatives. We would encourage you to participate with us as we do. And while the listening we need to do may never truly be “done”, we look forward as a community to the day when we can all truly say, “We hear you” and know that we are closer yet on our path to being a community that is: Together. Forward. Bold. An Exceptional Place Where Everyone Thrives.
Diane Brown Wilhelm
Council Member, Ward 4
Chief of Police