Our deepest condolences go out to the family of Mr. George Floyd. Over the last few weeks we have watched protesters march in cities around the country (and the world), seeking justice for George Floyd, who died at the hands of a white police officer. Mr. Floyd was the latest in a series of black citizens who lost their lives due to violence at the hands of those in authority.
What happened to George Floyd is not new. Systemic racism and the killing of black and brown people have been a part of our culture for centuries. What is new is that social media has made it possible to capture these events exactly as they occur and in graphic detail with audible sounds that leave nothing to the imagination. It’s hard for the viewer to turn a blind eye or deny that these events are happening.
The protesters’ reactions to these incidents reflect their hurt and anger in response to these injustices. Millions of protesters march peacefully across this nation in an effort to bring about change for equal rights and social justice, despite the efforts of some who instigate violence and loot stores. The marches exhibit efforts to unite communities of all races and ethnicities.
As we watched doctors, nurses, medical students, and social workers participate in protests, it brings to mind one of our Society’s core objectives: the MHSNJ “will be concerned with the history of the health professions and their influence on the social, cultural, and economic life of the community."
What will you tell your grandchildren about how you made a difference during these turbulent times? What will be your legacy? How will you influence history?
Let’s all of us work toward a better society, a better world. It will take more than sympathetic words to heal the racial divide as we work toward a more equal and just world. Commit to working together with your communities to address these systemic issues and remember to get out and vote!
“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world...would do this, it would change the earth.”
― William Faulkner
“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Take care/Be safe/Make a difference
Linda Whitfield-Spinner, DMH, LCSW
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Medical History Society of New Jersey
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Newark, NJ 07101-1709